The Tampa Police Department addressed a recent off-duty incident involving Chief of Police Mary O'Connor.

Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor Placed On Administrative Leave After Golf Cart Debacle

Tampa Police Chief Mary O'Connor has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation after the golf cart incident in Pinellas County.

TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation after the golf cart incident in Pinellas County.

“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, ” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.

The Tampa Police Department addressed a recent off-duty incident involving Chief of Police Mary O’Connor on Thursday.

On the evening of November 12, 2022, Chief O’Connor and her spouse were stopped by a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy while riding in a golf cart without a license plate outside of a residential area in Oldsmar.

The incident was recorded on the Pinellas SO deputy’s body-worn camera.

“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,” said Tampa Police Chief O’Connor.

“In hindsight, I realize how my handling of this matter could be viewed as inappropriate, but that was certainly not my intent. I knew my conversation was on video, and my motive was not to put the deputy in an uncomfortable position. I have personally called the Pinellas County Sheriff offering to pay for any potential citation,” said O’Connor.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said, “We hold everyone accountable, no matter their position, and this behavior was unacceptable. Chief O’Connor will go through the due process and face appropriate discipline.”

On Thursday, Chief O’Connor voluntarily reached out to the Tampa Police Professional Standards Bureau asking to receive the same discipline that any officer would receive for similar conduct. An internal review of the incident is underway.

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