PALM HARBOR, Florida (KFOR/Storyful) – When Mary O’Connor flashed her police badge during a traffic stop while she and her husband were driving a golf cart in public without a license plate, she told the deputy who stopped them that she was the Tampa Police Chief and she was “hoping you’ll just let us go tonight.” O’Connor has now resigned.
Bodycam video from Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy Larry Jacoby shows O’Connor and her husband explaining that they don’t typically take their untagged golf cart on city streets, but that they had just picked up food.
She asked the deputy if his camera was on before revealing her title, as an apparent attempt to get out of a traffic citation. Deputy Jacoby then said he recognized her and told her that it was nice to meet her, before allowing the couple to go on their way.
Before leaving, O’Connor handed the deputy her business card, saying, “If you ever need anything, call me – serious.”
After local media received a tip about the incident, O’Connor brought it to the attention of Tampa City Mayor Jane Castor, who recommended that O’Connor be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
“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. Public trust in Tampa’s police department is paramount to our success as a city and community,” Mayor Castor said.
A police disposition details the internal investigation, which, on December 4th, determined that O’Connor violated the Department’s policy. O’Connor resigned the next day.