Businessman Removes Controversial Murals

The owner of a Lawndale auto shop whose controversial, wall-sized murals sparked a community uproar has painted over the brightly colored signs, but now faces a legal battle over his earlier refusal to remove them.

Carlos Marin, owner of Fine Car Exteriors, had his brother, Roy, cover the murals with a coat of blue paint last Friday. But by then, city officials had already charged him with violating a sign ordinance and eluding an officer who asked him to eradicate the murals. Marin is scheduled to appear in South Bay Municipal Court on Aug. 22.

Marin hired two former graffiti taggers to paint the murals last June in an effort to discourage graffiti on the walls of his business and to give the youths some work. But neighboring businesses complained that the murals “cheapened” the area.