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Richfield fire chief’s DUI arrest caught on video

RICHFIELD, Ohio-- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained police video revealing one of the best-kept secrets in an upscale Northeast Ohio town.

Richfield Fire Chief Jason Mihalek has been charged for driving while intoxicated. Richfield Mayor Bobbie Beshara said he has been placed on unpaid administrative leave.

Kent police arrested Mihalek in the wee hours of Oct. 23. Police video from the scene shows he refused to take a breath test.

Booking room video obtained by the I-Team shows Mihalek doing some name-dropping as he was processed into the jail.

“Just a point of reference. I gotta call a couple police chiefs here, including your chief," Mihalek said.

Later, when asked if he wanted to call somebody, the video shows Mihalek responding, "I’ll call the police chief of Richfield come get me. Or the police chief in Kent come get me.”

The I-Team went to the Richfield fire station and found Mihalek’s office dark. We got no answer at his home.

His defense attorney Mike Callahan called us and said he didn’t want Mihalek making statements to us.

“We’re looking forward to defending ourselves in court," Callahan said.

Mihalek is pleading not guilty. In the booking room, Mihalek predicted he would be cleared.

On the streets of Richfield, two people we met pointed out those in the safety forces should be held to a higher standard.

The mayor calls it “very serious," but she said she can’t discuss this because it is a “legal and personnel” matter.