The Lake Forest mother of a serial graffiti tagger has been fined $15,000, according to this story in the Orange County Register.
Maria Gutierrez, the parent of the teenage boy who was caught 23 times marking up walls, businesses, utility poles and fences around the city with gang graffiti, was slapped with the fine by an Orange County Superior Court judge on Oct. 15.
The ruling is the first since city officials passed a tougher anti-graffiti ordinance last year that makes parents liable for damages and costs.
Other cases under the rejiggered ordinance are pending.
Mayor Kathryn McCullough voiced her support of the ruling. From the story:
"Graffiti is not a harmless crime – it is an act of vandalism that negatively impacts our community," Mayor Kathryn McCullough said. "When we passed the ordinance a year ago, we wanted to give the city more tools to combat graffiti and recover costs for removal, and we're glad to see it's working as intended. I hope this case serves as a warning to parents, guardians and youth about the consequences of committing acts of graffiti."
What do you think of the judge's ruling? Is a $15,000 fine against the mother too harsh a penalty?