TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa City Council is considering an ordinance that would change the way the mayor appoints employees to the city’s top positions.
The proposed ordinance comes in the wake of the controversial resignation of former Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor.
O’Connor resigned in November after she and her husband were pulled over for driving a golf cart without a license plate tag.
Body camera video shows O’Connor flash her badge at a Pinellas County deputy.
“I’m hoping you’ll just let us go tonight,” she said.
O’Connor was appointed by Mayor Jane Castor to lead the Tampa Police Department in early 2022, despite opposition.
Some voiced concerns about the appointment due to O’Connor’s past. In the 90s, the former police chief was arrested and charged with battery on a cop.
“I gave Chief O’Connor a second chance and that really is what makes this disappointment run so deep,” Castor said after the body camera video of O’Connor surfaced.
Now, council members are looking to change the appointment clause in the city’s charter. If approved, the mayor would “nominate” candidates for police chief and other heads of departments. The city council would then “appoint” the nominee if they are approved by no fewer than four votes.
The council will discuss the matter at its 9 a.m. meeting on Thursday. If they approve the measure, it will be placed on the ballot, and voters will decide on the issue in March.