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NoLa Rising Founder Escapes Worst of Trumped Up City Charges May 22, 2008

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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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.

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Comments»

1. KamaAina - May 22, 2008

It so happens that the “Gray Ghost” shares a surname with a guy out here whom I cordially despise, seeing as how he ripped off the agency where I work, prior to running his own into the ground. Thinking they might be related, I went to The Google, and came up with this:

http://www.bestofneworleans.com/archives/2001/0220/news-feat.html

“Usually these kinds of businesses are owned by Orientals and they’re afraid to do anything,” he says. “I must have dealt with about 30 supermarkets owned by Orientals – they run the business inside but what’s outside, they don’t want to deal with because retaliation can come back on them.”

“Orientals”?! Is this guy living in 1955 (or, given his taste for vigilante justice, 1855)? As a mutual friend of ours would have said, “What a mook.”

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2. Cade Roux - May 23, 2008

I don’t understand why the city hasn’t sued Radtke for defacing the street signs he has painted over. Not only is it defacement of public property, it is causing a public safety problem.

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