See the article at City Business here:
or read the fifth grade re-telling here:
PERSONAL VENDETTA GOES NOWHERE
We all know that Fred RAdTke had made it known in January "City Business" articles that his vendetta against NoLA Rising founder Michael Dingler was a personal one. It was a vendetta Mr. RAdTke claimed he would take all the way and try to financially cripple Dingler (a.k.a. ReX). In court on Thursday, May 22nd, Mr. RAdTke appeared and failed miserably in his attempt to make sure the charges he, in Mr. RAdTke's words, "citated" against ReX would stick.
RAdTke lobbied hard, providing witness testimony that highlighted HIM as the champion of the city, showing photographs and news stories of him "cleaning up" New Orleans and even going so far as to attempt to take over the prosecution's case and deal directly with the judge as though he were a lawyer.
Judge Sean P. Early would have none of it. Judge Early finally got the aggravated RAdTke to quiet. As RAdTke pled his personal case for vendetta, legal counsel for NoLA Rising (Buddy Spell of Spell & Spell) provided photographs of ReX's work to Judge Early, upon which Judge Early stated that he thought the signs were pretty and had served a purpose. RAdTke, incensed at the comment, still fought on.
RAdTke made the statement that when "we citated him, he still went on relentlessly." Disregarding RAdTke's poor use of the English language, Mr. Spell asked if he was a police officer. RAdTke refused to answer any questions from Spell, which further pressed Spell to inform him that he was not a police officer, nor should he consider acting as though he were. For future reference, my number one fan Mr. RAdTke, it's cited, not "citated."
RAdTke, ironically dressed in blue, appeared in court prepared, carrying a plastic grocery bag for a brief case. In a cheap blue button down and tacky tie, Mr. RAdTke fought a valiant and useless fight. His lack of taste could not be hidden by the blue jeans or work shoes with white socks he wore in court and his argument was tinged with personal whining. RAdTke produced from his grocery bag of cheap tricks the ANTIGRAVITY articles that first called into question his tactics. Tactics which have since become an issue that has cost RAdTke funding.
RAdTke Reads ANTIGRAVITY in Court
RAdTke was seen reading aloud to Assistant District Attorney Joseph B. Landry the publication ANTIGRAVITY. He pointed out section after section of the ANTIGRAVITY written by our beloved Sara Pic. After putting on his outdated pa-pa glasses, Mr. RAdTke read the sections of the article where I likened him to a graffiti artist and he stated his personal offense at the things I said in the article.
RAdTke ranted for a good thirty minutes to the very patient Joseph Landry, who exercised excellent judgment in the matter in which he chose to prosecute the case. RAdTke then made allegations that I associated with known graffiti artists and criminals that were all "in a conspiracy and were out to get" him. A detail he could not provide evidence for aside from vague internet postings. With or without such details, ReX points out that every American has a right to free association with any person they would like.
RAdTke even produced pictures of other people's graffiti and attempted to mislead prosecuting counsel and the judge to believe that it was the work of ReX. A matter quickly rebuked by defense counsel.
First Amendment Rights of NoLA Rising Discussed
RAdTke attacked the NoLA Rising blog, making statements that we here at NoLA Rising Headquarters have reported were patently false. No such thing has occurred. We report from first hand sources not hearsay. The fact that I have a First Amendment right to report the facts as I see them and come to understand them from first-hand sources could not be challenged by RAdTke's misunderstanding of the law. Clearly, his lack legal knowledge was vast and his arguments were personal.
RAdTke Collects NoLA Rising Art
RAdTke appeared in court carrying a five foot NoLA Rising sign from his personal collection. Attempting to show Judge Early what sort of "mayhem" we conduct, RAdTke lumbered into the courtroom with a sign he's held on to since ANTIGRAVITY's Alternative Media Expo at the Contemporary Art Center, hosted by our friend Leo McGovern. The sign, though, was zip-tied to a private chain link fence...over which RAdTke must've claimed his special brand of jurisdiction and had not actually been "posted" in regards to the citation.
Even after Judge Early fairly ruled a fine against ReX, RAdTke continued to lobby for stiffer punishments. Not believing that his arguments were weak and base at best, RAdTke became angrier and angrier...especially at the tactics employed against him by defense counsel.
Judge Early ruled that Assistant District Attorney Landry could have the five foot sign, a ruling that ReX would not argue against.
RAdTke, however, opted to disregard the RULE OF LAW and stole the NoLA Rising sign. RAdTke scampered out of the courtroom dragging the sign, while Buddy Spell chased after him asking him if he was willing to be held in contempt of court for stealing the sign. RAdTke continued to disregard Spell in the manner he had tried all morning, but fled from the courthouse in his GREY Saturn VUE before being caught.
NoLA Rising, being generous, relented and said that RAdTke could have the sign for his personal collection long after RAdTke left...knowing that RAdTke would need some consolation for the whipping he took in court. RAdTke seems to be one of the number of New Orleanians who take solace in the NoLA Rising signs, and ReX didn't see why he should be denied, despite his tactics to try and "financially cripple" him.
So, THE FINES
In every victory, there are some things you lose. While RAdTke lobbied to have over 50K in fines against ReX, the judgment was for only $200 in fines. He has thirty days to pay it. Though RAdTke lobbied to have jail time, the judge sensibly gave a suspended sentence. Despite RAdTke's efforts to shut down NoLA Rising, ReX had to promise that he personally would not put up any signs in the New Orleans area. An unfortunate thing, indeed, but no victory to RAdTke, as there are hundreds of supporters who are willing to take the matter into their own hands and spread artwork across the city at their own accord, in support of NoLA Rising.
RAdTke cried to the judge that if he didn't punish me severely, signs would appear overnight all across New Orleans. Mr. Spell pointed out that if ReX were punished severely, even more signs would appear across the city. In keeping with the spirit of NoLA Rising, ReX will be looking to give away signs to people who will do responsible things with them . If you are outraged that RAdTke could even get this minimal amount of punishment levied against ReX, ReX encourages you to act in a manner befitting to the spirit of New Orleans
RAdTke made the statement, "this guy is relentless" and that is the only true thing he said. NoLA Rising will not stop, but we will change our tactics in hopes that we can continue to benefit the people of the new New Orleans they way we did in the months immediately after the storm. There is no shame in loving New Orleans and all of Her unique people and ways...just because Mr. RAdTke wants to grey out our culture doesn't mean we have to let him. And I repeat my last and only comment to Mr. RAdTke yesterday..."Have a nice day, Mr. RAdTke." You'll need it for what is to be a negative backlash against you from the City Counsil to the hallways of your former corporate sponsors, to the streets of New Orleans that are not yours to control.