The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department issued a cease and desist letter Friday over a Yes On S political campaign mailer designed to look like a Sheriff's Department eviction notice, according to a statement from the department.
"The political mailer depicted in the photos attached to this message is counterfeit and could mislead members of the public to believe they are subject to legal action by the Sheriff’s Department," the department said in the statement. "The use of this mailer is unauthorized and unlawful under the California Business and Professions Code."
The mailer, paid for by the Coalition to Preserve L.A., looks like an eviction notice, with the case number replaced by "THIS COULD BE YOU OR A LOVED ONE." It also includes a fine-print disclaimer required of political mailers as well as a mass mailing postage stamp in the corner. On the opposite side, the mailer reads, "For 20,000 Angelenos, this notice was real because of greedy developers," before continuing to make a pitch for Measure S.
The Sheriff's Department cites a code that prohibits using "a trade or brand name, seal, emblem, or insignia" without permission in a way that indicates something has been approved or endorsed by the local government.
Coalition to Preserve LA, who authored and sent the mailers, defended the mailer pointing out that a campaign disclaimer was included.
"We did not mean to scare anyone," said a spokesperson on Saturday. "We sent mailer to highlight evictions, which are happening around the city, particularly in low income areas, where developers are building more and more luxury developments."
The letter from the Sheriff's Department asked Preserve LA to mail a correction stating that it did not authorize the mailer.
Preserve LA said its attorneys were reviewing the letter and determining if they would comply with its requests.
Read the full cease and desist letter from the Sheriff's Department below: