Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. MyNewsLA.com photo
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. MyNewsLA.com photo

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office sent a cease-and-design letter to the Yes on Measure S campaign, calling some its literature “unlawful” for using the city seal, opponents of the measure said Friday.

The letter, which was sent Wednesday, came on the heels of the Yes on S campaign receiving a similar missive from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for sending out campaign literature that mimics the appearance of a department eviction notice.

Mayor Eric Garcetti also objected to a Measure S campaign email he said gives the impression he endorses Measure S, when he actually opposes it.

The mailers the city attorney referenced in Wednesday’s letter feature the endorsements of former Mayor Richard Riordan and former City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, and they include the city seal.

“The city has not authorized the use of the city seal and letterhead for these mailers endorsing Measure S. The use of the city seal and letterhead from former officials, however, creates a false and misleading impression that the letters are authorized by the city and/or the former officials are speaking on behalf of the city,” the letter stated.

The letter also said the mailers violate the state elections code, which prohibits the use of the seal of a local government agency in any campaign literature in a deceiving manner.

Yes on Measure S campaign director Jill Stewart had no comment on the letter.

Opponents of the development-control measure said, “Lying appears to be all they (proponents) have left as voters come to understand that Measure S does nothing that its backers claim, and worsen most of the problems it addresses.”

Measure S on the Tuesday 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 elected officials routinely take campaign donations from developers creates a cozy relationship and leaves the impression that City Hall can be bought.

Opponents of Measure S — including Gov. Jerry Brown, Garcetti and City Councilman Jose Huizar — say it would limit the city’s ability to build affordable housing because those developments often require general plan amendments. They also said the measure could hurt the local economy.

“Nobody should be living on the street. Homelessness shouldn’t exist. If Measure S passes, it will contradict all the work we’ve done to end it, and all the people who voted for Prop HHH in November. The steps we’ve taken to eradicate homelessness will be in vain,” Silvia Hernandez, a community advocate for affordable housing, said at a news conference Friday.

Stewart has said previously that only a minuscule” amount of affordable housing units since 2000 have required General Plan amendments.

— City News Service

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