MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – North Miami Beach Councilman Frantz Pierre is being investigated for possible abuse of power.
It started Thursday when a city code enforcement officer went to Pierre’s home on NE 171st St. to post a violation notice regarding a falling apart wooden fence, an abandoned vehicle and other property upkeep problems.
In an email to her supervisor, Code Compliance Officer Tasheema Lewis said Pierre “aggressively approached me informing me to leave them alone” and that “he was a councilman.”
The code compliance officer said Pierre went on to threaten her. She quoted him as saying, “when you see this house ignore it if you want to keep your job.”
She said Pierre ripped the violation notice off of his front door and threw it at her city vehicle.
Deputy City Manager Mac Serda called the code compliance officer “courageous” for reporting the incident.
“I took it very seriously,” Serda said. “I commended her for bringing it to her supervisor.”
“In my view it rose to the level that it needed to be referred to the chief of police,” said city attorney Jose Smith.
Police Chief Scott Dennis has referred the matter to the state attorney’s office.
“I felt it was better to turn this over to their public corruption division for them to look at it and go forward with what they felt was appropriate,” Dennis said.
If Pierre behaved as accused, it would violate Florida’s misuse of public office statute, constituting corruption by threat against a public servant – a felony.
Multiple emails and other messages to Pierre from CBS4 News were not replied to.
Pierre is in the midst of a reelection campaign. Election Day is May 5th.