BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore's police commissioner was charged Thursday with three misdemeanor counts of failure to file taxes, the latest embarrassment to rock the beleaguered force reeling from scandal to scandal.
In a Thursday statement, the U.S. Attorney's office alleged that Commissioner Darryl De Sousa "willfully failed to file a federal return for tax years 2013, 2014, and 2015, despite having been a salaried employee of the Baltimore Police Department in each of those years."
If the charges are proven, the top cop in Baltimore faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $25,000 fine for each of the three counts.
There was no immediate response from De Sousa. Police department spokesman TJ Smith released a brief statement saying "the city will have a statement at some point." The mayor's spokesman was mum.
De Sousa became Baltimore's police commissioner earlier this year when the mayor fired Commissioner Kevin Davis after 2½ years as top cop, saying a change in leadership was needed to oversee crime reduction strategies in the Mid-Atlantic city with an eye-popping violent crime rate.
De Sousa, who joined Baltimore's force in 1988, had pledged to stamp out police corruption in the wake of an explosive federal investigation that exposed a task force of dirty detectives and deeply embarrassed the department already struggling with low morale and a serious public trust deficit.
The 53-year-old veteran commander has launched an anti-corruption unit and introduced plans for random integrity and polygraph testing. He has also hired an inspector general to help oversee implementation of a federal consent decree requiring broad police reforms.
U.S. Attorney Robert Hur commended the IRS and the FBI for their work in the De Sousa investigation.