TAMPA (WFLA) – Mayor Jane Castor’s pick to be the next Chief of Police has yet to be confirmed and sources tell News Channel 8 she may not have the four out of seven votes needed from Tampa City Council.
“Mary O’Connor will go before Tampa City Council on Thursday, February 10, 2022 to be confirmed,” a press release from the mayor’s office on Tuesday said.
Mayor Castor’s pick to be Tampa’s next top cop is not on the agenda for next Thursday’s City Council meeting.
The mayor chose O’Connor over Interim Chief Ruben “Butch” Delgado and Miami Police Assistant Chief Cherise Gause.
Council Member Orlando Gudes didn’t reveal his vote in a phone interview Friday, but said the mayor’s selection process could have been more transparent.
Gudes said the Jan. 26 community forum with the finalists for the chief job should have been rescheduled to accommodate Interim Chief Delgado who couldn’t be there because his father passed away.
“We were disappointed that Chief Delgado was not picked,” the Tampa Police Benevolent Association, the police officers’ union, said in a statement. “He is an active member and we feel he did an incredible job for the citizens and officers he leads. We offer our congratulations to Chief O’Connor and look forward to working with her and her administration.”
An FDLE records request show O’Connor’s Florida law enforcement certification has expired. A spokesperson for the city said she will complete the recertification process in the coming weeks.
O’Connor worked her way up through the ranks to assistant chief at TPD before retiring in 2016. Early in her career, she was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer after the man she would later marry got pulled over on suspicion of DUI.
At the forum in January, O’Connor told News Channel 8 that mistake should not be held against her.
“I am a strong proponent of people making mistakes, learning from them, and having a second chance to prove themselves,” O’Connor said.
A spokesperson for the city said O’Connor is being offered a salary of $192,920.
The City Council has 90 days to confirm her or else the mayor would have to select someone else.