Tampa's police chief is placed on administrative leave after a golf cart traffic stop
Police Chief Mary O'Connor is under investigation after bodycam video showed her flashing her badge to a deputy during a traffic stop. Assistant Chief Lee Berkaw is acting chief.
Tampa Police Chief Mary 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.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor made the announcement in a short statement:
"Police Chief Mary O'Connor has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into a recent traffic stop. Assistant Chief Lee Berkaw is serving as acting chief."
The disciplinary action was taken after the Tampa Police Department released a video Thursday that showed O'Connor and her husband, Keith, being pulled over while driving 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.