The curiously high bail amount levied on illegal sign purveyor Kayvan Setareh was slashed by 90% after he agreed in court today to take down the supergraphic at Hollywood & Highland, scene of the Oscars in less than a week. The City Attorney's office said Setareh posted the giant sign despite a cease and desist letter, which probably ticked off City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, who had him arrested on Friday. Left unexplained is how Trutanich got Superior Court Judge Mildred Escobedo to go along with $1 million bail for three misdemeanor charges — it doesn't really matter what the charges are or how chic the anti-billboard cause has become among L.A. media and blogs. Setareh, who hasn't been convicted of anything, spent three days on jail due to what seems to be political opportunism. Lawsuit? Arraignment was postponed to March 30.
Curious too: The L.A. Times threw up a blog post this afternoon asking readers to give their thoughts on whether the $1 million bail was "justice or overkill?" The post goes on to conflate the separate issues — sign blight as a politically issue, the arrest, and the mysterious bail amount — and also seems to think bail-setting is part of punishment.