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VALLEY FOCUS | Canoga Park

Club Owner Charged in Illegal Sign-Posting

September 03, 1998|MICHAEL BAKER

For the second time in about a month, the city attorney has filed charges against a nightclub owner for posting a sign on city property in the San Fernando Valley.

In the most recent case, charges filed Monday against Canoga Park club owner David S. Martinez, 30, accuse him of illegally posting a sign on a telephone pole in the 7300 block of Eton Avenue.

Martinez will be arraigned Sept. 30 in Van Nuys Municipal Court. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.

Martinez, owner of the Tequila Night Club at 20923 Roscoe Blvd., was cited on Friday after city Building and Safety inspectors watched him allegedly post a sign advertising three Latino musical acts on city property, according to Don Cocek, the prosecuting deputy city attorney in the Van Nuys office.

On July 30, multiple counts of the same charge were brought against the corporate owner of House of Blues, a West Hollywood nightclub, and two of its employees.

In that case, HOB Entertainment Inc., Promotions Manager Mark Jason and Talent Buyer Assistant Kevin Smith are scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 16 in Van Nuys Municipal Court on 12 counts of illegally posting signs and four counts of failing to remove them after an order from the Department of Building and Safety.

After inspectors photographed signs advertising an upcoming concert at the House of Blues and posted on city utility poles in the Valley, a formal compliance order was issued on July 8, said Rick Schmidt, the deputy city attorney in charge of the Van Nuys office.

A couple of weeks later, when investigators noticed the signs were still on the poles--and an additional sign was added promoting a new concert at the nightclub--the city attorney's office again informed HOB Entertainment of the violation, Schmidt said. Charges were filed when investigators discovered the signs still had not been removed as of late July.

According to city code and state law, it is illegal to post signs on public property without permission of the appropriate authority.

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