Car dealer's mannequins defy sign laws - East Valley Tribune: Chandler

Car dealer's mannequins defy sign laws

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Posted: Friday, November 13, 2009 9:23 am | Updated: 2:05 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Provocatively dressed mannequins have boosted a Chandler used car dealer's business, but some say they violate municipal sign laws.

AutoMart owner Tracy Tingue says he put the two well-endowed sign-holding mannequins on display along Arizona Avenue near Warner Road in September. He buys them clothes at a nearby thrift store and dresses them in flowing skirts when it's windy.

But some residents have complained and city code enforcer Rick Brzuchalski gave Tingue notice this week that the mannequin matter has been forwarded to the city prosecutor for possible criminal misdemeanor charges.

The mannequins are considered "temporary signs" that don't have a permit and don't fit the categories allowed under municipal law, which allow banners and placards that promote grand openings, real estate sales and special events.

If he's prosecuted, Tingue could face a maximum $2,500 fine or six months in jail. The city also could confiscate the mannequins. Tingue says he has retained an attorney and has no intention of taking down the mannequins.

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