Tampa's police chief resigns after a probe into a golf cart traffic stop
Tampa Police Chief Mary O'Connor resigned Monday after the completion of an Internal Affairs investigation into a recent traffic stop involving O'Connor.
Assistant Chief Lee Bercaw, a 25-year veteran of the department, will serve as acting chief while a comprehensive national search is conducted, the city announced.
Mayor Jane Castor requested and received O'Connor's resignation, according to a news release from the city.
O'Connor was placed on administrative leave Friday after a body camera video showed her flashing her badge to a Pinellas County deputy during a traffic stop.
The department released a video Thursday that showed O'Connor and her husband, Keith, being pulled over while he drove a golf cart without a license plate in their Oldsmar neighborhood Nov. 12.
O'Connor, who was in the passenger seat, is seen on video asking the deputy if his body camera was on, and then telling him she was the police chief in Tampa while displaying her badge.
The deputy then let the couple go without a citation.
On Thursday, Castor said in a statement that O'Connor used "poor judgment" and could face disciplinary action.
In a statement, O'Connor said she "expressed great remorse" to Castor and that "no one is above the law."
O'Connor also said she "personally called the Pinellas County sheriff offering to pay for any potential citation."
O'Conner, 51, was sworn in as Tampa's 43rd police chief in March after serving 22 years on the force and retiring in 2016. Her husband is also a retired Tampa police officer.
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