Tampa police chief Mary O’Connor resigns after video shows her flashing badge during traffic stop

O’Connor tells Mayor Jane Castor she made a ‘personal mistake’

The Tampa Police Department chief who was caught on video flashing her badge during a traffic stop in hopes a deputy would "let her go" has resigned from her position Monday, telling the Florida city’s mayor she made a "personal mistake." 

Mary O’Connor and her husband were pulled over by a Pinellas County deputy for driving a golf cart without a license plate tag on Nov. 12. O’Connor was sworn into the position in March after serving the department 22 years and was placed on administrative leave Saturday. 

"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," O’Connor wrote in a letter penned to Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. 

"Whether I am wearing a badge or not, my commitment to service and oath of office will remain a part of my everyday life," she added. "I plan to use this time to reflect and spend time with my family and children before moving on to any future endeavors." 

TAMPA POLICE CHIEF PLACED ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE AFTER BODYCAM VIDEO EMERGES 

Tampa Police Department Chief Mary O’Connor was captured on body camera video asking if the deputy’s camera was on and flashing her badge to the deputy before saying, "I’m hoping you’ll just let us go tonight."

Tampa Police Department Chief Mary O’Connor was captured on body camera video asking if the deputy’s camera was on and flashing her badge to the deputy before saying, "I’m hoping you’ll just let us go tonight." (Fox 13)

Castor tweeted that she had asked for O’Connor’s resignation and now "Assistant Chief Lee Bercaw will serve as acting chief while a comprehensive national search is conducted" for her replacement. 

"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," Castor said in a statement. 

In the video, the deputy explains to the couple that they were pulled over for driving an unlicensed vehicle without the tag on it. 

During the stop, O’Connor asked the deputy if his body-worn camera was recording. The deputy responded, "It is." 

Mayor Jane Castor has issued a statement on Friday, "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 Bercaw is serving as acting Chief."

Mayor Jane Castor has issued a statement on Friday, "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 Bercaw is serving as acting Chief." (Fox 13)

O'Connor states, "I’m the police chief in Tampa," while flashing her law enforcement badge. 

"I’m hoping you’ll just let us go tonight," she added. 

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, shown here on Aug. 9, 2022, says she asked Tampa Police Chief Mary O'Connor to resign.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, shown here on Aug. 9, 2022, says she asked Tampa Police Chief Mary O'Connor to resign. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

"If you ever need anything, call me," O’Connor said, handing the deputy her card. "Seriously."

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The couple was let go. 

Fox News’ Sarah Rumpf contributed to this report.