Defendant in City’s Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Against Rogue Sign Company, Business Partner Are Major Campaign Donors, Friends of City Council Members
Peter Zackery, president of an L.A. company specializing in poster-style advertising on construction fences and walls of liquor stores, donut shops and other small businesses, is one of the defendants in the major lawsuit filed this week against World Wide Rush, a Pennsylvania company accused of putting up numerous illegal supergraphic signs. Another company executive, Gary Shafner, was not named in the suit, but court filings in an unrelated case show him to have been involved in the initial establishment of World Wide Rush in the L.A. market three years ago.
Zackery and Shafner, along with their company, National Promotions and Advertising (NPA), have donated more than $85,000 in the past decade to candidates for mayor, city council, and other city offices, according to Ethics Commission reports. Shafner hosted a fundraiser last year and an election night party in 2005 for Councilman Bill Rosendahl at his Venice residence, and was singled out in 2008 by Council President Eric Garcetti as having been highly instrumental in persuading Cirque du Soleil to permanently bring one of their shows to the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.
According to filings in the lawsuit brought against World Wide Rush owner Barry Rush by Pamela Anderson, owner of Vanguard Outdoor, another supergraphic company, Zackery is the sole owner of a company called Citywide Pete, which joined with two other companies and World Wide Rush to form an enterprise called Worldwide Mediacom for the purpose of putting up supergraphic signs on L.A. buildings. According to court documents, Shafner recommended that Rush contact Anderson to help establish these operations.
The lawsuit, in which Anderson alleges that Rush breached a partnership agreement, includes copies of several e-mails sent by Anderson to Rush regarding the details of installing a multi-story supergraphic sign on an office building at 3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd. alongside the 405 freeway. Shafner was a recipient of those e-mails, which nowhere mention the necessity of getting permits for the sign, which was cited by the city and is one of 12 locations of illegal supergraphic signs listed in the City Attorney’s lawsuit filed in L.A. County Superior Court on Feb. 22.
One of the other partners in Worldwide Mediacom, along with Zackery, Rush, and a man named Scott Krantz, was Paul Fisher, a Newport Beach attorney who represented billboard companies in a number of high-profile cases against L.A. and other cities. Fisher was convicted last year of raping a 15-year old girl and is now incarcerated and disbarred.
NPA, which markets its outdoor advertising services as “wildposting”, operates in several U.S. cities, and has been cited for putting up illegal poster ads in both L.A. and New York. A 1996 item in Los Angeles Magazine says that in one year city workers confiscated more than 90,000 posters the company had illegally placed. In that item, Zackery was quoted as saying this about his business. “It’s not the kind of thing I want to go out and advertise who I am.”
Vanguard Outdoor has also placed large supergraphic ads without city permits on buildings in several locations, including one directly across the street from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Wilshire Blvd.Dennis Hathaway