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Ladera Heights Woman Facing Eviction at Age 102 Is Promised Help from Schwarzenegger, County Supes

[dropcap size=big]L[/dropcap]os Angeles County officials say they are investigating the legality of an eviction notice served on a 102-year-old woman in Ladera Heights whose case sparked outrage on social media and a pledge of help from former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger on Friday said he would step in to help his “dear friend” Thelma Smith, who has lived in the same Craftsman-style home for nearly 30 years. On Tuesday, Los Angeles County officials said they were investigating the legality of the landlord’s order.

“Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life,” Schwarzenegger told his 4.36 million followers followers on Twitter. “It is heartless. Thelma, I’ll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you’ll hear from me, too.”

Smith spent the majority of her career as an executive secretary for the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation in Harvard Heights. In an interview with ABC7, Smith showed off a fruit basket gifted to her by Schwarzenegger. It is unclear what if anything the former governor and actor can do in the matter that prompted a slew of social media outrage including from Congresswoman Karen Bass.

L.A. County's Consumer and Business Affairs can delay or completely stop an eviction if it violates county rules. County spokesman Keven Chavez told the L.A. Times that the investigation could take several days as they determine if Smith’s landlord violated a temporary measure installed in September by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors meant to address the region’s escalating housing crisis.   

Smith was given until the end of June to move out of her Ladera home, to make room for the landlord’s daughter, who is graduating from Yale Law School, reports said.

In an interview with the LAT, Ladera Heights-area supe Mark Ridley-Thomas said “county departments that handle questions of aging, housing and economic survival are also reviewing Smith’s situation, as are a homeowner’s association in Ladera Heights and several tenant's rights groups.”

RELATED: Deputy Serves Elderly Couple With Notice ~ Heartless Evictions Continue at Westlake Building Where Tenants Staged Strike

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