Tampa Police Chief Suspended for Flashing Her Badge During Traffic Stop

Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor is in some trouble and has been placed on administrative leave after she and her husband were pulled over by a Pinellas County deputy for driving a golf cart on the street without a tag last month.

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Chief O’Connor and her husband were stopped in their golf cart by a Pinellas County deputy outside of an Oldsmar neighborhood on Nov. 12. O’Connor was captured on body camera video asking if the deputy’s camera was on.

“It is,” said the deputy.

O’Connor said, “I’m the police chief in Tampa,” before flashing her badge and stating, “I’m hoping you’ll just let us go tonight.”

Because of this incident, Chief O’Connor has been placed on administrative leave until further notice. Assistant Chief Lee Bercaw will serve as acting chief pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor confirmed.

In response to the incident, Chief Mary O’Connor released a statement acknowledging her behavior as “inappropriate”

“I have expressed great remorse to the Mayor, and I apologize to the residents of Tampa who have a reasonable expectation of better judgment from their chief of police”

Apparently, the knives are out, and Tampa City Councilman Bill Carlson said Chief O’Connor’s actions violate basic ethics training. He believes O’Connor should and will resign.

“What we’re taught in ethics training in government, Ethics 101, is don’t use your position to get any kind of special favors. You’re taught in particular not to mention your title or your position to try and convince anyone of anything and so it’s not a good idea to do that,” said Carlson.

The Tampa Police Department issued a statement on the situation, saying:

“In light of Mayor Castor’s decision to place Chief Mary O’Connor on leave as the Professional Standards Bureau completes its review of an off-duty traffic stop, the department will continue operating with Assistant Chief Lee Bercaw serving as Acting Chief of Police. We have full confidence that all members of the Tampa Police Department will continue with their duties to serve the citizens of Tampa with the highest level of professionalism. The findings of the internal review will be made available upon completion.”


Additional stories you may want to read:

Destin Middle School Nurse Arrested for Stealing Students’ Adderall and Focalin

Florida Man Arrested for Shoplifting During ‘Shop With A Cop’ Event

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