BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa has been charged with failure to file his federal taxes for three straight years.
More than a month after being sworn in as the city’s top cop, Baltimore’s 40th police commissioner has now apologized for what he called “a failure to prioritize his personal affairs.”
The 53-year-old was charged with three misdemeanor counts of failure to file a U.S. tax return. He faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $25,000 fine for each of the three counts.
Federal prosecutors announced Thursday that De Sousa failed to file a federal return for 2013, 2014 and 2015, while he was employed by the Baltimore Police Department.
He made $93,104 in 2013, $101,985 in 2014 and $127,089 in 2015 — all making it required by law that he file taxes by the April 15 deadline of the following year.
In a statement released via Twitter, De Sousa took responsibility for not filing his taxes.
“I fully admit to failing to file my personal Federal and State taxes for 2013, 2014 and 2015. I did file my 2016 taxes and received an extension for my 2017 taxes. I have been working to satisfy the filing requirements and, to that end, have been working with a registered tax advisor.
To be clear, I have paid Federal, state and local taxes regularly through the salary withholding process.
While there is no excuse for my failure to fulfil my obligations as a citizen and public official, my only explanation is that I failed to sufficiently prioritize my personal affairs. 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. I accept full responsibility for this mistake and am committed to resolving this situation as quickly as possible.”
My statement: pic.twitter.com/1DCD2v4dFF
— Darryl De Sousa (@Darryl_De_Sousa) May 10, 2018
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh released the following statement:
As Commissioner De Sousa has explained, he made a mistake in not filing his taxes for the years in question. He is working to resolve this matter and has assured me that he will do so as quickly as possible. I have full confidence in Darryl De Sousa in his capacity as Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department and trust that he will continue to focus on our number one priority of reducing violence.
The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police released a statement, urging De Sousa to “relieve himself of his duties, effective immediately, until this matter is resolved.”
City Councilman Brandon Scott expressed his concerns with the findings.
“I’m extremely disappointed in the police commissioner, like he said in his statement, he knows that this is going to be a distraction to the city and the city right now can’t afford to have a distraction,” he said.
Scott added that he’s counting on the commissioner to rebuild his reputation, but said as far as calling for his resignation, that’s not his call to make.
“Only the mayor can make that decision and I’ve said under the last three commissioners my opinion on whether someone should resign or not doesn’t matter,” he said.
City Councilman Ryan Dorsey released the following statement to WJZ:
In the wake of Commissioner DeSousa’s confirmation, I talked to the press about my reservation’s over the brisk nature of it, and what I characterized as non-answers to certain questions. For reference: (“You’ve got to answer questions. It shouldn’t feel like it’s out of line for us to ask questions. It shouldn’t feel like it’s an imposition for us to be asking questions.”) As some of the information surrounding DeSousa’s charges remains under seal, I do not believe I have enough information to understand the full scope of the case yet. I also believe he deserves his day in court. While that information continues to come to light, I feel the most productive discussion we can have in the meantime is one that focuses on the importance of thorough vetting and thoughtful confirmation procedures for such important public positions.
De Sousa replaced Kevin Davis as Baltimore Police Commissioner in February.