Florida Police Chief Resigns After Flashing Badge, Asks for Leniency at Traffic Stop

Florida Police Chief Resigns After Flashing Badge, Asks for Leniency at Traffic Stop

A police chief in Tampa, Florida resigned from the police department on Monday after she was caught on video flashing her badge to get out of a ticket, according to 6ABC News.

Mary O’Connor quit the Tampa Police Department after the mayor asked for her resignation. The former police chief was riding in a golf cart with her husband on Nov. 12 when the couple was pulled over by a deputy with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. O’Connor was pulled over for driving on a road without a license plate tag.

O’Connor asked the deputy if his body camera was on before identifying herself as the police chief in Tampa and flashing her badge.

After O’Conner identified herself, the deputy responded, “Oh! How you ‘doin’?”

“I’m hoping that you’ll just let us go tonight,” said O’Connor.

Of course, the deputy let her go. “If you ever need anything, call me. Seriously,” she concluded.

O’Connor was put on administrative leave last month following the release of the bodycam footage while Internal Affairs completed an investigation. The mayor’s office released a statement announcing O’Connor’s resignation.

“Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has requested and received the resignation of Police Chief Mary O’Connor following the completion of an Internal Affairs investigation into a recent traffic stop involving O’Connor.”

“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,” read the statement. “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.”

“It is unacceptable for any public employee, and especially the city’s top law enforcement leader, to ask for special treatment because of their position.”

O’Connor was sworn in as the police chief in March following a 22-year-long career in law enforcement. The mayor also noted Assistant Police Chief Lee Bercaw will serve as interim police chief as the city conducts a nationwide search for a new chief.