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Wild Style With Peter Vallone Jr.

Ambitious pol’s Ahab-like anti-graffiti campaign.

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Queens councilman Peter Vallone Jr. has a beef with urban fashion mogul and graffiti fan Marc Ecko. First, Vallone pressured Mayor Bloomberg to revoke a permit for a graffiti-themed block party Ecko was throwing; a judge ultimately granted Ecko his permit. Then Ecko funded opposition to Vallone’s anti-graffiti legislation; a judge knocked down Vallone’s bill. Now, on May 9, Vallone will introduce revised anti-graffiti laws. “We’re not backing down,” Vallone says, adding that he’s been in contact with law enforcement about one of Ecko’s close pals, graffiti artist Alain Maridueña (known as KET), who faces up to twenty years in prison for his tags. “Pete Vallone is like the Alberto Gonzales of City Hall,” says Daniel Perez, who is Ecko and KET’s lawyer, and suggests that Vallone’s influence—he chairs the committee that oversees the Police Department’s and district attorney’s budgets—could affect the case against KET. Vallone says, “I wish I had the power he’s insinuating. But this is a wacky theory they are putting out to help” KET, whom he calls “obviously guilty.” Says Perez, “Guilty, according to whom?”

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