A resignation letter has been tendered recently by a police chief out of Florida in the wake of attempting to utilize her badge to request that she be let go from a traffic stop, according to officials out of Tampa.
Jane Castor, the Mayor of Tamps, “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,” as reported by a statement issued by the office of the Mayor early Monday.
“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,” expressed Castor.
O’Connor seat as the passenger while riding in a gold cart being driven by her husband, a former Tampa Police officer that has been retired. The gold cart sported no liscense plate, and a deputy for the Pinellas County Sheriff office pulled the apir over. While viewing the body cam footage, O’Connor can be seen showing the deputy, one Larry Jacoby, her badge as the officer claimed that she looked familiar.
“I’m hoping that you’ll just let us go tonight,” she stated prior to apologizing to the officer and handing the deputy her card.
“If you ever need anything, call me. Serious,” stated O’Connor.
Back in 1995, O’Connor was let go from the department in the wake of being arrested in a separate traffic stop for battery on a law enforcement officer. The very next year, she was allowed to resume her role on the force and was “reinstated as a police officer,” where she worked for another year as a “probationary employee.” Mayor Castor seemed to make reference to the number of previous incidents while speaking about the resignation.
“This is especially disappointing because I gave Mary O’Connor a second chance, as I believe in second chances for people. Which is one of the reasons that the disappointment today runs so deep. 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,” stated Castor.
In the tendered letter, O’Connor stated, “I would never want my personal mistake to stand in the way of the progress I have made in mending relationships between the police department and the community, so for that reason, I am resigning.”
In the wake of the most recent ordeal, Castor stated that O’Connor had “poor judgment” but could be disciplined.