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Tampa Police Chief Resigns After Flashing Badge To Get Husband Out Of Ticket For Driving Golf Cart

Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor resigned after flashing her badge to get her husband out of a ticket for driving a golf cart in a residential area.

YouTube screenshots of former Police Chief Mary O'Connor

On Friday, Tampa Police Chief Mary O'Connor was placed on administrative leave after a traffic stop recorded by a deputy's bodycam raised concerns.

She has since resigned.

On November 12, O'Connor and her husband were riding a golf cart without a license plate outside of a residential area in Oldsmar, which is just outside of Tampa, Florida.

A deputy pulled the couple over and the whole incident was caught on his bodycam.

O'Connor, who was in the passenger seat, had her badge ready when the deputy stepped up to the golf cart.

After the deputy explained the golf cart was missing tags, O'Connor replied:

"I'm the police chief of Tampa."
"I'm hoping you will let us go tonight."

When the deputy responded she looked familiar, O'Connor replied:

"Yeah, I'm sure I do."

Eventually, the deputy wished them a good night.

O'Connor did the same and then handed the deputy her card, telling him:

"If you ever need anything, call me. Serious."

You can watch the full exchange below.

Traffic Stop involving Chief O'

The recorded stop led to an Internal Affairs investigation, which found O'Connor violated the Tampa Police Department's code of conduct. O'Connor resigned shortly after.

Mayor Jane Castor tweeted:

"I requested and received the resignation of @TampaPD Chief Mary O'Connor."

This was followed by a statement in which Castor shared her disappointment in O'Connor's actions.

Castor stated:

"I had high hope for Chief O'Connor, as she was off to such a strong start by reducing violent gun crime, proactively engaging with our community and focusing on officer wellness."
"But these accomplishments pale in comparison to the priority I place on integrity."

Twitter was split on the consequence of O'Connors actions.

Some stated what O'Connor did is a common practice among law enforcement. Those who thought she shouldn't have been reprimanded so extremely noted she did not bully or become aggressive with the deputy, either.

Others, however, argued the incident is a prime example of privilege and abuse of power.

In a Zoom interview, O'Connor told Tampa Police Department's Professional Standards Bureau:

"I should not have asked him to let us go."
"You know, I did not want to put him in a bad spot and make him feel like he should have been pressured to not give us a citation."

O'Connor joined the Tampa Police Department 22 years ago and was named chief in February.