FL Police Chief Resigns After Badge-Flashing Incident

The Tampa Bay Times reports:

Tampa police Chief Mary O’Connor resigned Monday effective immediately after an investigation into a Pinellas County traffic stop where she flashed a badge and asked a deputy to “just let us go.” Mayor Jane Castor asked for and received the resignation, Castor announced Monday in a news release.

An internal review by the department’s Professional Standards Bureau found that O’Connor violated the department regulations on “standard of conduct” and “abuse of position or identification,” according to a disposition letter released along with Castor’s announcement.

“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,” Castor said in a 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.”

From the original Creating Loafing report:

Body camera video shows O’Connor on a golf cart identifying herself as the Tampa Chief of Police and telling the Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy she hoped he would “just let us go,” referring to herself and her husband who were driving without a license plate. The deputy obliged. During the stop, the officer let the O’Connors go without checking if they were inebriated.

This isn’t the first time O’Connor had a run in with a sheriff deputy. O’Connor’s appointment by Mayor Jane Castor was controversial due to her 1995 felony arrest for assault on a fellow law enforcement officer. O’Connor in the passenger seat when her future husband and fellow Tampa police officer Keith Michael O’Connor was pulled over on suspicion of DUI Keith was charged with drunk driving, but deputies said O’Connor kicked the windows and punched a deputy when she was put in the back seat of a patrol car.