Last month, a Florida police chief who was driving a golf cart without a license plate was stopped by a fellow officer and ticketed with a flashing badge. Just weeks later, she was asked to resign from her position.
Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor, 52, resigned Monday after traffic stopped in Pinellas County on Nov. 12. body camera video Released on Thursday.
“I’m the Tampa Police Chief,” O’Connor told his lieutenant before handing over his badge. “I hope you can let us go tonight.”
She then gave the lieutenant her business card and said, “Do you need anything to call her?” The lieutenant, who stopped the golf cart while driving on a public road because it didn’t have a license plate, let them go without permission.
o’connor didn’t Notify Tampa Mayor Jane Castor of the road closure By Wednesday, more than two weeks after the incident, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Shortly after, Castor saw the footage and ordered an internal affairs investigation.
By Friday, Castor announced: o’connor took a leave of absenceIn Monday’s release, Castor said: asked O’Connor to resignPlease note that it is unacceptable for public officials to seek special treatment because of their position.
The Department of the Interior found that O’Connor violated the Department’s “code of conduct” and “abuse of position or identity.”
“The Tampa Police Department has a code of conduct that includes high standards of ethical and professional conduct that apply to all members of the police force,” Castor said in a statement. “As a police chief, you must not only adhere to and enforce these standards, but set an example. This was clearly not the case in this case.”
O’Connor said it was a mistake to ask the captain, who was conducting an internal review, to let her go without a ticket. .
In a statement, Castor said he was disappointed in O’Connor because he had already given him a second chance over 25 years ago.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the second chance the caster mentioned was O’Connor’s actions and arrest 1995 during a traffic outage.
Decades ago, O’Connor I was pulled over by a Hillsboro sheriff’s deputy. With then-boyfriend Keith O’Connor, a Tampa police officer. According to the Tampa Bay Times, she upset lawmakers who were about to give Keith O’Connor a sobriety test, kicked the window of a police car, and punched her in the shoulder and chest.
Lawmakers arrested Keith O’Connor on charges of DUI, and O’Connor on charges of battery to a police officer, obstruction, and disorderly drunkenness. She did not contest the misdemeanor charges of battery and obstruction, but the judge withheld the sentence.
Both officers were fired but later reinstated – and their arrest had little effect on their ability to climb the ladder.
Keith O’Connor retired as assistant chief in 2019 and is now Tampa’s neighborhood enhancement manager, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
in her letter of resignation, O’Connor, who became police chief in February with a salary of more than $190,000, said he was leaving the police force “with great sadness.”
“I committed to serving the community I love as fully as I did 22 years before I retired,” O’Connor said in the letter.
This story was originally published December 5, 2022 at 6:00 PM.