Baltimore police commissioner accused of failing to file taxes

Darryl DeSousa was appointed Baltimore police commissioner earlier this year.

Darryl DeSousa was appointed Baltimore police commissioner earlier this year. (Fox 45 Baltimore)

Baltimore's top cop has been charged with three misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

The U.S. Attorney's office claimed in a statement that Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl DeSousa "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."

The Baltimore Sun reported that DeSousa earns approximately $210,000 per year as police commissioner.

If convicted, DeSousa faces up to one year in prison and a $25,000 fine on each of the three counts.

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There was no immediate response from DeSousa. Police department spokesman TJ Smith released a brief statement saying "the city will have a statement at some point."

DeSousa became Baltimore's police commissioner earlier this year when Mayor Catherine Pugh fired Commissioner Kevin Davis after 2 1/2 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.

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DeSousa, 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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