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Tampa Police Chief resigns after flashing badge to get out of ticket

(TAMPA, FLA) — UPDATE — The Tampa police chief who flashed her badge and asked to be let go from a traffic stop has resigned, Tampa officials said Monday.

“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,” according to a statement from the mayor’s office.

Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor was put on administrative leave after she flashed her badge to an officer to get out of a ticket.
The body cam video shows O’Connor and her husband, who was driving, being pulled her over for driving a golf cart without a license plate last month.
During the Pinellas County traffic stop, O’Conner can be seen showing her police badge and heard saying, “I’m hoping you’ll just let us go tonight.”

Mayor Jane Castor released a statement on Friday saying “Chief O’Connor will be on administrative leave until further notice, pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident.

Assistant Chief Lee Bercaw will serve as acting Chief in the meantime, Castor said.
Tampa City Councilman Bill Carlson said this is a violation of basic ethics training.

“When we’re taught 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 any thing and so it’s not a good idea to do that,” said Carlson. Adding that he believes O’Connor “should – and will – resign.”

Late Friday, 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.”