Baltimore police commissioner resigns over failure to file taxes for three years

Baltimore police commissioner resigns over failure to file taxes for three years
Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa resigned after being charged with failure to file taxes. (Image source: WJZ-TV video screenshot)

Just months after he was appointed Baltimore police commissioner, Darryl De Sousa resigned following charges that he had failed to file federal taxes for three years, WJZ-TV reported.

De Sousa, who initially expressed an intention to correct the matter while continuing in his position, was facing pressure from the Fraternal Order of Police to step aside.

What’s the story?

Last week, De Sousa was charged for not filing taxes in 2013, 2014, and 2015. In a statement, he apologized for embarrassing the city and stated his commitment to “resolving this situation as quickly as possible.”

The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police said it felt “very strongly” that De Sousa needed to resign his post, but Mayor Catherine Pugh said she still had “full confidence” in him as commissioner.

Pugh took some responsibility Wednesday for appointing De Sousa and promised to implement a more thorough vetting process for future candidates. The current vetting form does not ask about taxes.

“I own the selection of Darryl De Sousa for Baltimore City, but I don’t control people’s personal lives,” Pugh said. “We will ask those questions going forward.”

“We want to make sure the next candidate for this position is well scrutinized,” she added.

De Sousa, who worked for the Baltimore Police Department for 30 years, was named commissioner in January after the previous commissioner was fired. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Baltimore has dealt with an increase in violence recently, and the police department has been embroiled in a corruption scandal.

What now?

Pugh said the city has begun a nationwide search for the next commissioner. In the interim, Gary Tuggle will serve as acting commissioner.

“My focus is on crime, the Consent Decree, and moving this agency forward,” Tuggle said in a memo to the department. “The sworn and civilian staff here have done a great job and the results of your hard work continues to show as we have seen across the board reductions in violent crime. We have a long way to go, but I know you are all up for the challenge. Thank you for your professionalism during these tough times. We will succeed because you all are the professionals who keep our agency moving forward.”