Poor Kim Fahey. He’ll be spending the next year and a half in county jail. Why? Because of an enormous art project dubbed “Phonehenge”. Although Fahey built the structure on his own property, the county deemed it necessary to demolish it – on Fahey’s dime. The retiree doesn’t have the cash to pay the bill, so it’s off to the pokey:
Los Angeles County charged builder Alan Kimble “Kim” Fahey $82,000 last year to demolish the structure, which included a 70-foot tower, stained-glass windows, a working windmill, and a replica of a Viking house in Antelope Valley, some 50 miles north of Los Angeles. This week, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Daviann Mitchell sentenced him to 539 days in jail after raising doubts about his inability to make payments on the bill.
The judge’s decision has sparked outrage among Fahey supporters, who claimed the structure should have been protected as a unique example of American folk art. But citing administrative law, most pointedly requirements that county residents get prior approval before embarking on massive building projects, code enforcers refused to budge, a jury backed them up, and the judge is set on enforcing the sentence.