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Palm Coast Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2022 2 months ago

Sheriff's Office sends cease and desist letter to Lowe over campaign images

Lowe, the letter states, had used Staly's image to falsely imply that the sheriff supported his candidacy. Lowe said that had not been his intention.
by: Jonathan Simmons Managing Editor

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly has sent Palm Coast City Council District 2 candidate Alan Lowe a cease and desist letter demanding that Lowe stop using the sheriff's image in his campaign materials.

Lowe told the Palm Coast Observer that he has since removed the images.

"Sheriff Staly and his images represent the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. You have used these images in social media posts, mailers and in commercials to imply both Sheriff Staly and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office are supporting and/or endorsing your candidacy," the letter states. "Both implications are untrue and provide a false narrative for voters. As you are well aware Sheriff Staly has not endorsed you, or your candidacy, for office."

Lowe said he hadn't used the images to imply that Staly supported him. "No of course not — and that's why I put on the picture that I support him," Lowe said. "However, since there was a confusion, I removed it."

The letter, dated Aug. 12 and signed by Staly and the FCSO's general counsel, John LeMaster, goes on to cite Florida law on endorsements.

The law states that it is illegal for candidates of people working on behalf of candidates "to represent that any person or organization supports such candidate, unless the person or organization so represented has given specific approval in writing to the candidate to make such representation."

The letter continues, "You did not seek, nor were your granted, permission to use Sheriff Staly’s likeness in your campaign efforts. You are misleading the voters of Palm Coast in support of your agenda without authorization."

It concludes by demanding that Lowe and his campaign "immediately cease and desist all uses of Sheriff Staly, the Flagler County Sheriff‘s Office, and/or any other likeness of either," and adds that the sheriff would take legal action if the images weren't removed.


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