Just a few months into his tenure as Baltimore police commissioner, Darryl De Sousa has been charged for failing to file his taxes, WJZ-TV reported.
Prosecutors announced Thursday that De Sousa failed to file a tax return for 2013, 2014 and 2015 as an employee of the Baltimore Police Department.
"While there is no excuse for my failure to fulfill my obligations as a citizen and public official, my only explanation is that I failed to sufficiently prioritize my personal affairs," De Sousa wrote in a statement.
My statement: https://t.co/1DCD2v4dFF— Darryl De Sousa (@Darryl De Sousa) 1525984749.0
What's the story?
De Sousa was appointed to the Baltimore PD's top post in January as part of an effort to reduce violence in the city, after the highest number of homicides in nearly 20 years. He also was touted as a commissioner who could help fight police corruption in the city, after the embarrassing trial and conviction of virtually all the members of its elite Gun Trace Task Force on corruption charges.
Now, he stands charged with three counts of failure to file federal taxes, and faces up to three years in prison and up to $75,000 in fines.
De Sousa admits that he didn't file federal and state taxes in 2013, 2014 and 2015, but says he did file his 2016 taxes and has received an extension for his 2017 taxes.
"Naturally, this is a source of embarrassment for me and I deeply regret any embarrassment it has caused the Police Department and the City of Baltimore," De Sousa wrote.
Union calls for him to step down
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who appointed De Sousa, said she still has "full confidence" in him as commissioner, and that she has "trust that he will continue to focus on our number one priority of reducing violence."
The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, however, called for the commissioner to step down while his legal issues get resolved.
"As there is a pending case against him, we urge the Commissioner to do the right thing by taking a leave of absence, until such time as this matter is completely adjudicated in Federal Court," a Baltimore FOP statement read.
"...we feel very strongly that it is in the interest of the Baltimore Police Department to ask that Commissioner De Sousa relieve himself of his duties, effective immediately, until this matter is resolved."
https://t.co/XaYx3qn1qu— Baltimore City FOP (@Baltimore City FOP) 1526002975.0