Magistrate: Bait shop mural not a violation

03/13/09 Seán Kinane
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The owner of a Clearwater bait and tackle shop got an early birthday present this afternoon. Herb Quintero, whose birthday is Sunday, learned that a Judge Magistrate is recommending that the city of Clearwater stop citing him for a violation of its sign ordinance.

When the city first cited Quintero because of a mural depicting game fish on his shop, The Complete Angler, he covered it up with a banner of the First Amendment.

Quintero is represented by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida. Their associate legal director Maria Kayanan.

“Today – it was about an hour ago - Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Jenkins entered her report and recommendation that the District Court Judge, who is Judge Whittamore, should enter a preliminary injunction enjoining the city of Clearwater from compelling plaintiffs to remove either the painting or the First Amendment banner."

"We would certainly hope that the city of Clearwater would not continue their fight and waste taxpayers’ money during these difficult times.”

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