North Miami Beach Employee Claims Councilman Threatened Her Over Code Violations

A South Florida elected official is under the microscope for allegedly threatened a city employee she could lose her job.

The worker was delivering a code violation notice at the time when she says the councilman in North Miami Beach told her if she wanted to stay employed she needed to stop carrying out her task.

It all unfolded at the home of Frantz Pierre who is running for reelection, on the day early voting got underway in North Miami Beach.

Tasheema Lewis is a code enforcement employee who, in an email NBC 6 obtained, told supervisors she had trouble when delivering code violation notices to North Miami Beach Councilman Frantz Pierre.

City records show that in February and March inspectors determined the fence and the vehicle at Pierre's residence did not comply with regulations.

On Friday afternoon a tow truck showed up to take the vehicle away.

"The violations weren't remedied. So we were notifying the person like anyone else of a future code hearing," said Mac Serda, North Miami Beach Deputy City Manager.

But Lewis wrote her bosses that on Thursday afternoon at the councilman's residence, "Pierre and his spouse aggressively approached me informing me that the City of North Miami Beach needs to leave them alone and that he was a councilman.
And she wrote Pierre told her: "When you see this house ignore it... if you want to keep your job remove the violations.... I will fire the City Manager and the Director."

The city moved to bring in independent investigators.

"Together in an abundance of caution we decided to send the information, send the matter to, the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, the State Ethics Commission and also the State Attorney's Office," Serda said.

State law prohibits an elected official from using their office to secure any special privilege or benefit.

Lewis also said the councilman tore up the notice she left at his home and tossed it at her city vehicle.

NBC 6's Willard Shepard got Pierre on the phone Friday afternoon said Pierre told him that he wanted to speak to his attorney and had not been officially notified by the city of these allegations but he was adamant this was all a case of mistaken identity.

He claimed he wasn't even home at the time and that the worker has him confused with someone else.

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