Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor resigned Monday after bodycam footage caught her flashing her police badge at a traffic stop, according to a disposition letter from the Tampa Police Department.
Deputy Jacoby pulled O’Connor’s husband over in Pinellas County for driving an unregistered golf cart on a public road, according to the disposition letter. O’Connor, off-duty, was in the passenger seat at the time of the traffic stop. During the stop, O’Connor showed her badge to the officer and said, “I am hoping you will let us go tonight,” the letter continued.
The officer let the pair off with a verbal warning. At the conclusion of the incident, O’Connor gave her business card to the officer who initiated the stop and said, “If you ever need anything, call me — serious,” according to the letter. (RELATED: Man Gets 33 Months In Prison For Threatening To Kill Biden And Blow Up White House)
“The Tampa Police Department has a code of conduct that includes high standards for ethical and professional behavior that apply to every member of our police force. As the Chief of Police, you are not only to abide by and enforce those standards but to also lead by example. That clearly did not happen in this case,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in a statement Monday.
“I imagine that the police chief will resign from this”
A Tampa City Council member described body camera video showing Police Chief O’Connor during a traffic stop as “embarrassing” – and her future as the city’s top cop is in jeopardy@WFLAJeff reports: https://t.co/Ox9Yu0Fjvy pic.twitter.com/0pdymITs4l
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) December 2, 2022
O’Connor said she didn’t want the “personal mistake” to get in the way of the police department’s relationship with the Tampa community, according to her letter of resignation. O’Connor focused primarily on her record at the department in the letter.
“Whether I am wearing a badge or not, my commitment to service and oath of office will remain a part of my everyday life. I plan to use this time to reflect and spend time with my family and children before moving on to any future endeavors,” O’Connor continued.
Assistant Chief Lee Bercaw, a 25-year veteran of the department, will serve as acting police chief while the department conducts a nationwide search for O’Connor’s replacement.