While tagging a freeway in Los Angeles is a felony, billboard companies are allow to put up illegal billboards which haven’t been inspected for safety with impunity….
From the LA Weekly:
Billboards Gone Wild: 4,000 Illegal Billboards Choke L.A.’s Neighborhoods
Is City Hall corrupt, or just inept?
By CHRISTINE PELISEK
Shortly before Thanksgiving, a furtive crew of workers for L.A. Outdoor Advertising poured a cement foundation next to the Harbor Freeway and anchored a huge metal structure into the wet cement. A few days and roughly $100,000 later, the crew had erected L.A.’s latest illegal billboard atop an equally illegal 10-ton superstructure that can be removed only with a wrecker.
Adding insult to injury, the whole thing was built in full view of the windowed offices of Los Angeles city billboard inspectors — a tiny, and some say incredibly inept, group who are failing in City Hall’s purported effort to find and remove an estimated 4,000 illegal billboards blighting L.A.
So pathetic is the battle against outdoor advertising companies that the massive billboard went unnoticed for months by leaders at City Hall, including big-time billboard proponent and council member Ed Reyes, in whose district the sign sits. It was left to irritated commuters, like pissed-off clutter critic Dennis Hathaway, who spoke up at a January public hearing, where city engineer Eric Cabrera called L.A. Outdoor’s ballsy stunt an “egregious disregard of the law.”
Onlookers recall that when an attorney representing L.A. Outdoor stood to defend the sign, Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety Commission President Marsha Brown, a political appointee of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s, spat: “Your client should go to jail!”
But Brown’s comment was just talk.