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Former Acton man behind Phonehenge West sentenced to probation

Alan “Kim” Fahey also must serve 63 days of community service

Posted: May 18, 2012 4:23 p.m.
Updated: May 18, 2012 4:23 p.m.
 


The man who built an eccentric Acton compound known as Phonehenge West was placed on five years' probation Friday and ordered to serve 63 days of community service, five of them at the Los Angeles County morgue.

It cost $83,488 to tear down Alan "Kim" Fahey's structures on the 1.7-acre property in Acton, Los Angeles County prosecutor Patrick David Campbell told a judge during the sentencing hearing for Fahey in Lancaster. Demolition was completed March 20.

Superior Court Judge Daviann L. Mitchell told Fahey he must pay $50 a month in restitution. He ordered a July 27 progress report.

The 59-year-old retired phone company technician was convicted of a dozen misdemeanor building code violations. Fahey never secured building permits for the structures, which included a 70-foot tower, and authorities said the compound was a danger to its inhabitants.

Campbell told the judge it took four big-rigs to haul away 53 tons of telephone poles. Trucks hauled away another 28 loads of debris weighing 280 tons.

Defense attorney Jerry Lennon was asked afterward why the judge ordered Fahey to work off five days of community service at the coroner's office.

"The judge thought (Phonehenge) was an extreme fire danger and I guess she just wanted him to see dead people," Lennon said.

Fahey, who is indigent, had expected the sentence.
"He's kind of an existential guy. He's not distraught," Lennon said. "He's got an idiocentric personality, but he's charming."

The court system continued his sentencing over and over, demanding that he meet safety requirements before submitting to sentencing. The treehouse builder, who has faced health challenges throughout the ordeal, said he would leave the state but moved instead to Tehachapi.

Despite court and county restrictions, many some residents in the Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley communities rallied around Fahey, throwing barbecues and organizing Facebook pages to support his unique home.

Fahey's cause came to the public's attention in 2011, when disenchantment with government was on the rise. His cause took on a kind of David and Goliath status for a time as a defied county code enforcement officers.

Judge Mitchell could have sentenced Fahey to as much as a dozen years in jail for defying authorities for decades as he created Phonehenge West out of everything from abandoned movie sets to discarded utility poles and other junk that nobody else wanted.

Some praised the compound 50 miles north of downtown Los Angeles as a stunning example of American folk art. The quirky 70-foot tower had stained-glass windows and energy-producing windmills. There were nearly a dozen other buildings, including a replica of a 16th-century Viking house.

Fahey had been defiant, saying authorities never should have forced him to tear down Phonehenge West. He added that his buildings are better constructed than the county courthouse he was convicted in.

Fahey said he did obtain building permits when he started Phonehenge West, but the county lost them.

 

 

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