A example of the "eviction notice" flyers. Courtesy Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
A example of the “eviction notice” flyers. Courtesy Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

The Los Angeles County Sheriff is ordering the AIDS Healtcare Foundation to stop mailing campaign flyers for Measure S disguised as eviction notices.

The department sent a “cease and desist” letter late Friday and ordered the group to notify all recipients of the mass mailer and to post a copy of the letter on the home page of the VoteYesOnS.org website.

“The county demands that you immediately cease and desist from any and all uses of the LASD name, county name, any images or reproductions bearing or having a likeness to the LASD or county names, or an official county or LASD document, ” wrote Los Angeles County Council Mary Wickham.

The sheriff’s department said it was concerned that the “counterfeit” message “could mislead members of the public to believe they are subject to legal action by the sheriff’s department.”

The 30-year-old nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation has spent more than $4.6 million, which amounted nearly 99 percent of the campaign’s contributions, to support Measure S.

Foundation CEO Michael Weinstein has defended the foundation’s political spending, saying development in Los Angeles is driving up housing costs and making some of the foundation’s patients homeless.

Measure S on the March 7 ballot would halt all General Plan amendments — or special permission to developers known as “spot zoning” — for two years while the city updates its General Plan and community plans that guide neighborhood development.

Supporters of Measure S argue the city’s procedure of frequently granting spot zoning requests while its elected leaders routinely take campaign donations from developers creates a cozy relationship and leaves the impression that City Hall can be bought.

Opponents of Measure S — which includes Gov. Jerry Brown, Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilman Jose Huizar —  say it would limit the city’s ability to build affordable housing and hurt the local economy.

“The backers of Measure S want to shut down development no matter what, and they’re willing to cut jobs and raise rents to do it,” Huizar said at a news conference with Latino leaders in Boyle Heights on Thursday.

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