TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Later this month, Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor will go before the Tampa City Council for confirmation.
O’Connor, Mayor Jane Castor’s pick for police chief, has faced some pushback – in part due to a 1995 arrest.
As a rookie, O’Connor and her significant other were both arrested during a traffic stop on May 26, 1995. 8 On Your Side obtained his arrest report but hers is gone. O’Connor’s record has been expunged, or erased by the courts.
O’Connor was arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop. There’s no arrest report but the incident is mentioned in O’Connor’s personnel file.
A notice of disciplinary action states O’Connor became “loud and argumentative” while in the passenger seat of the stopped car. She had to be restrained in a deputy’s vehicle.
O’Connor, then known by her maiden name as Mary Minter, reportedly “began kicking the windows” and even punched the deputy in the chest.
A month later, O’Connor was fired from the force.
The following year, she was “reinstated as a police officer.” Paperwork does not explain why, only mentioning O’Connor would be a “probationary employee” for a year.
There was no trouble that year, or in the year’s since, according to her personnel file.
Employee reviews referred to O’Connor as a “talented supervisor” who met or exceeded expectations.
O’Connor’s critics, which include some Tampa city council members, have questioned why someone with a clean record was not chosen. They say police are supposed to be the most disciplined civil servants at all times, especially the one at the very top.
8 On Your Side has reached out to Tampa PD and the city to find out why the record of only one person involved in this incident was expunged.
O’Connor is set to go in front of Tampa City Council on March 17.