A mayoral candidate for the city of Miami who was wanted by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office for allegedly impersonating an officer has been arrested.
Francisco "Frank" Pichel, 59, was arrested early Friday on a warrant for impersonating an officer in the Florida Keys, jail and arrest records showed. He was being held on $5,000 bond Friday morning.
According to an arrest report, Pichel had parked his BMW on the swale of a home in Key Largo back on May 30. When the homeowner approached him, Pichel allegedly flashed a gold badge and said he was working for the sheriff's office, the report said.
The homeowner was able to get the car's license plate, and the encounter was captured on surveillance video, the report said.
"Incidents such as these always concern me as the safety of citizens continues to be my number one priority," Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a statement. "I want to thank the staff who worked on this case as well as our partners with Miami-Dade Police Department for their help."
Pichel is currently qualified as a candidate for Miami mayor, with the election set for this November. He has run for Miami City Commission before and lost, and was also a Miami police officer.
Pichel’s name shows up in an 8-page memo recently penned by Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo, to the mayor and city manager, complaining of several commissioners, including Joe Carollo, who he claims are interfering with confidential police business and bucking reform efforts.
"I understand that Pichel works or has worked as a Private Investigator gathering 'dirt' for Commissioner Carollo and other elected officials," Acevedo writes in the memo.
Pichel, who is friendly with Commissioner Carollo, headed up the city’s code enforcement board back in 2018.
NBC 6 reached out to Pichel's attorney for comment on Thursday but haven't heard back.
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.