Following a lot of noisemaking by artist/activist Robert Lederman after his two recent arrests on the High Line, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe has personally assured him there will be no more trouble. Quite the change of tune considering it had been reported that Benepe personally ordered his arrest earlier this month!

Lederman had been arrested for selling art at the public park, which is perfectly legal... but this past Saturday he set up shop again and was not hassled by one Parks Enforcement Patrol officer. The Villager recaps his recent turmoil, pointing out their editorial published in his support, which declared: “The Parks Department and the Friends of the High Line need to clarify quickly what they are doing on the High Line in terms of artists. We’re told new regulations may be forthcoming soon; until then, though, the arrests of Lederman and any other artists should stop. Simply put, these arrests appear to be illegal as far as we can discern.”

The editorial was personally sent to Mayor Bloomberg, and the next morning Lederman received an invitation to the Parks Department's headquarters, where Benepe apologized, dropped the charges, and told him artists were now welcome to vend at the park.

However, he proposed designated spots for arists, which isn't going to fly with Lederman, who says "they continue to act as if they are ‘offering’ artists something.The right of free speech in all New York City parks is ours already. It is not theirs to offer it, to ‘permit’ it, or to deny it." He is still moving forward with his most recent lawsuit, which names the defendants as Benepe, the Parks Department, the Friends of the High Line, and PEP Officer B. Joseph.