Tampa police chief resigns after dodging traffic ticket

Dec 4, 2022, 5:09 PM | Updated: Dec 5, 2022, 12:22 pm
Mary O'Connor addresses reporters during a news conference at the Tampa Police Department headquart...

Mary O'Connor addresses reporters during a news conference at the Tampa Police Department headquarters, Feb. 8, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. O'Connor has resigned after using her position to escape a ticket during a traffic stop involving her golf cart driven by her husband. Mary O’Connor submitted her resignation Monday, Dec. 5, 2022 after an internal affairs review found she violated police department policy during the Nov. 12 stop by a Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy. (Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

(Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The police chief in Tampa, Florida, resigned Monday after using her position to escape a ticket during a traffic stop involving a golf cart driven by her husband.

Mary O’Connor submitted her resignation after an internal affairs review found she violated police department policy during the Nov. 12 stop by a Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy.

During that stop — which was recorded on video by the deputy’s body camera — O’Connor identified herself as the Tampa chief, flashed her badge and said “I’m hoping you will let us go tonight.”

The deputy issued only a verbal warning instead of a citation, according to the internal affairs review. The golf cart did not have a license tag, a requirement for when such vehicles are driven on public streets. O’Connor’s husband, Keith, said they had just come from a restaurant and didn’t usually drive the cart on streets.

The internal review found O’Connor violated regulations on standards of conduct and “abuse of position or identification.”

“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,” Mayor Jane Castor — herself a former Tampa police chief — said in a statement requesting the resignation. “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.”

Castor appointed Lee Bercaw, who was assistant chief, as acting chief while a nationwide search begins. O’Connor served in the post for nearly a year.

Last week, O’Connor issued a statement apologizing for her conduct.

“In hindsight, I realize how my handling of this matter could be viewed as inappropriate, but that was certainly not my intent,” she said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

3 kids taken in Nebraska carjacking found with frostbite

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Three young children were being treated for frostbite in Nebraska Sunday after police said two suspects stole an SUV while they were inside. Around 3 a.m. Sunday, when temperatures were around 0 degrees, a man reported that his 2012 Chevrolet Traverse had been stolen with his three children inside, said […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Julie Otsuka, Ed Yong win Carnegie Medals for Excellence

NEW YORK (AP) — Novelist Julie Otsuka has strong memories of libraries from her childhood California — the bike rides with her best friend to the local branch; the soft, firm sound of librarians closing books; the shopping bags she and her friend would fill with science fiction and other stories. “It seemed like I […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Netherland's Prime Minister Mark Rutte, left, speaks with U.S. President Joe Biden during a ...
Associated Press

Source: Dutch, Japanese join US limits on chip tech to China

WASHINGTON (AP) — Japan and the Netherlands have agreed to a deal with the U.S. to restrict China’s access to materials used to make advanced computer chips, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press on Sunday. The person declined to be identified because the deal hasn’t yet been formally announced. It’s unclear […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Missouri mom convicted of killing her infant twins

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri mother who reported that her infant twins were stillborn has been convicted of manslaughter. Maya Caston, 28, was convicted Friday of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and two counts of child endangerment. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that jury found her guilty of lesser charges instead of convicting her of second-degree […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Trucks crash into commuters in Nigeria’s south; 20 dead

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Two separate road crashes involving trucks in southern Nigeria left 20 people dead including children, authorities said Sunday, with many of the victims burned beyond recognition. In Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos, a truck carrying a heavy container landed on a commercial bus on a busy bridge in the Ojuelegba area […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Kansas City police find body in man’s car after towing it

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Family members and a forensic expert are questioning why Kansas City police didn’t find a man’s body in the cargo area of his own SUV until after they towed it to a Missouri police station earlier this month. Adam “A.J.” Blackstock Jr.’s death is being investigated as a homicide, according […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Tampa police chief resigns after dodging traffic ticket