NoLa Rising Founder Escapes Worst of Trumped Up City Charges May 22, 2008Posted by Mark Folse in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Fred Radtke, graffiti, Grey Ghost, Micheal Dingler, New Orleans, NOLA, NOLA Rising, public art, Rex, vandalism
Updated again on 5/23 11:00 am
No word yet on NOLA.com but NoLa Rising founder and artist Micheal Dingler reports on his own site he triumphed over city-sanctioned graffiti vandal Fred Radtke (a.k.a. The Grey Ghost), who had used his connections to the NOPD to have municipal charges filed against Dingler for the posting of public art at sites in New Orleans.
This is good news for Dingler, whom Radtke arranged to have charged with 1,100 counts of unlawfully posting signs, charges that could have resulted in $50,000 in fines. Dingler reports in his brief post that Radtke stormed out of the courtroom when charges were dismissed.
Now, to get the real public menace–Radtke–off the streets and in court where he belongs.
Update:The outcome, as reported by New Orleans CitiBusiness (but not by the Times-Picayune or NOLA.Com) is not as good as I had hoped. Dingler had to agree to pay $200 in fines and to stop posting his artworks in public places.
Radtke, as the series of stories in CitiBusiness points out, remains free to deface public and private property with impunity and the support of the N.O.P.D. The net outcome is that Radtke has won. NoLa Rising is no longer free to post free public art in public places. This is ridiculous.
I encourage you to write to the City Council and encourage them to amend the graffiti and bill posting ordinances to grant a clear freedom for groups like NoLa Rising to post transient artworks in public places If Radtke can have the city’s blessing, then so should NoLa Rising.
N.B.– I’ve changed the headline a bit to be more realistic
Update No. 2–Michael Dingler gives a detailed account on the NoLa Rising blog.