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Building owner arrested for 'supergraphics'

August 30, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
UPDATE: All charges against Siamak Michael Rahimi were dismissed on Nov. 21, 2011.PREVIOUS ARTICLE:
The owner of a vacant office building near the Los Angeles International Airport was arrested Friday for allegedly installing and maintaining supergraphic signs, in violation of city law.

Siamak Michael Rahimi, 56, of Santa Monica, was released after posting a $75,000 bail. He was charged by the L.A. City Attorney's office with 48 misdemeanor charges.

Rahimi, LAX Enterprises, LP, and Westside Investment Group were each charged with 12 counts of illegally erecting a supergraphic sign; 12 counts of illegally maintaining an off-site sign; 12 counts of obstructing fire department emergency ingress and egress from the building; and 12 counts for failure to identify the person or entity responsible for installing and maintaining the supergraphic signs.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The property in question is located at 9800 South Sepulveda Boulevard, across the street from LAX. It consists of a vacant office building along with an attached parking structure.

The supergraphic signs are attached to the north- and south-facing sides of the building and cover a majority of the windows.

The supergraphics are made of a vinyl or canvas-type petroleum base sheeting and are attached to the sides of the building using a system of eyebolts and cables.

The Los Angeles Fire Department and the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety issued several safety building and fire code violations to the defendants, with no response.

According to the city attorney's office, the supergraphics pose a threat to the public and the safe operation of LAX because of their proximity to the airport, and the volume of traffic along that section of Sepulveda Boulevard.

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