TAMPA -- Tampa's police chief resigns over a video that appears to show her asking a favor from another law enforcement officer.
The mayor's office announced Monday morning that Mary O'Connor submitted her resignation, less than a year after taking the job. O' Connor's letter mostly recounted what she considered her accomplishments in office. O'Connor's letter says she would never want her "personal mistake" to stand in the way of improving relations between the police and the community.
Mayor Jane Castor says in her response that her disappoint runs deep. She had given O'Connor a "second chance" (following a 1995 DUI arrest) and had high hopes for reducing gun crime and engaign with the community.
The mayor's office says it'll conduct a nationwide search for a new chief. O'Connor joined as chief in February following a different nationwide search.
Lee Bercaw will serve as acting chief in the meantime.
Here is the text from Castor:
"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. 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.”
“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. Public trust in Tampa's police department is paramount to our success as a city and community,” Mayor Castor said.
"This is especially disappointing because I gave Mary O’Connor a second chance, as I believe in second chances for people. Which is one of the reasons that the disappointment today runs so deep. I had high hope for Chief O’Connor, as she was off to such a strong start by reducing violent gun crime, proactively engaging with our community and focusing on officer wellness. But these accomplishments pale in comparison to the priority I place on integrity.”
"In Lee Bercaw, we have a thoughtful and highly regarded leader in progressive policing. I am grateful he can hit the ground running and continue working with our community to keep our city safe.”
Photo: Canva/City oof Tampa