Former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez is back, in rare form, displaying bulging muscles from his pecs to his calves, bronzed from head to toe, dressed in the skimpiest of black briefs.
After almost two years of seclusion, Alvarez reemerged in November Hulk-like, taking home first prize in the National Physique Committee’s South Florida “Over 60s” Master’s bodybuilding competition at Miami’s James L. Knight Center.
Event promoter Sergio Pacheco said Alvarez’s victory over five other men qualified him for the more prestigious Junior National Master’s competition.
Pacheco, who owns Pacheco’s Physique Gym in Hialeah, said he had heard the former mayor competed in an event a few weeks earlier in West Palm Beach, but had no idea he had entered the Knight Center contest.
“When I saw him walk in, I said, ‘Wow, I know him,’ ” Pacheco said.
The former mayor and county police director was recalled from office in March 2011 by 88 percent of the electorate, after constituents had a hard time wrestling with a series of raises he awarded his inner circle and with his backing of the new, $634 million Miami Marlins ballpark in Little Havana.
Since the recall, Alvarez, 60, has rarely been seen in public. He has been spotted spending lots of time at a tony gym at Merrick Park in Coral Gables. Deanna Clevesy, a spokeswoman for Equinox Gym Coral Gables, confirmed Tuesday that Alvarez works out there, but refused to share details on his regimen.
Spotted on the field before the Marlins’ inaugural game at the new ballpark last April, it was apparent Alvarez had been hitting the barbells — muscles ripped from his short-sleeved shirt, various media reports noted.
Peter Potter, who judged Alvarez to victory at the Knight Center, said there was no mention of Alvarez’s mayoral past in his bio, just a mention that he was the former police director. Potter initially had no idea of Alvarez’s former life.
“One of the other judges who lives in Miami pointed out to me’’ that Alvarez was the former county mayor, Potter said. Alvarez “didn’t broadcast it.”
The mayor’s bodybuilding victory was first reported Tuesday by the Miami New Times.
Michael Sansevero photographed the event. He said Alvarez forked over $75 for pictures and video.
“I was kind of surprised when I saw him,” Sansevero said. “He must always have been in good shape, but he was in real good shape.”
Alvarez, whose current employment status is unknown, could not be reached for comment.
Alvarez spent 35 years with Miami-Dade County, the first 28 in the police department, where he worked his way up to the top job.
When the former mayor left office, he was earning salary and benefits worth $325,309, county records show. His last financial disclosure put his net worth at $1.74 million.
Alvarez’s annual police pension pays him $180,216, and he received a one-time payout of $287,879 for entering an early retirement plan.
Alvarez also participated in a retirement investment plan during his seven years as mayor, during which the state matched his contributions. Numbers weren’t immediately available for that plan Tuesday.