After flashing her badge after she was stopped for a traffic violation, a Florida police chief was put on administrative leave.
Pinellas County pulled the Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor and her husband over for operating a golf cart without a license plate in Oldsmar, Florida, some 20 miles outside of Tampa.
O’Connor takes out her badge after making sure the officer’s body-worn camera was filming.
“I’m the police chief of Tampa. I’m hoping that you’ll just let us go tonight,” O’Connor muttered under his breath.
“You look familiar,” the deputy answered and then let the couple leave in their car.
“If you ever need anything, call me. Seriously. Thank you,” O’Connor responded.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor stated O’Connor has been placed on administrative leave awaiting the outcome of the inquiry into the traffic stop in a statement issued on Friday.
O’Connor has also expressed regret for her behavior, calling the incident the product of bad judgment, and she has personally contacted the party in question and offered to pay any prospective fines.
“It was poor judgment on our part to be driving a golf cart on a public roadway without the appropriate tags. This was the first time we had exited the golf-cart friendly community in which we own property with this vehicle, prompting the need for a license plate. In hindsight, I realize how my handling of this matter could be viewed as inappropriate, but that was certainly not my intent,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor, who has worked in law enforcement for 22 years, was appointed Tampa’s police chief in February.
Assistant Chief Lee Bercaw has taken over as acting chief while the inquiry is ongoing.