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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 admitted Thursday that he failed to file federal and state income tax returns for three consecutive years after federal prosecutors hit him with misdemeanor charges.

In a statement, Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl DeSousa said he had "failed to sufficiently prioritize my personal affairs" when he missed the deadline to file his returns for 2013, 2014 and 2015.

"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," said DeSousa, who was named Baltimore's police commissioner earlier this year. "I accept full responsibility for this mistake and am committed to resolving this situation as quickly as possible."

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DeSousa said he was working with a registered tax adviser, had filed his 2016 taxes and had requested an extension on his 2017 taxes.

The U.S. Attorney's office claimed in a statement that 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."

Prosecutors said DeSousa faced up to one year in prison and a $25,000 fine on each of three counts of failure to file an individual tax return. However, his punishment will likely be significantly reduced in the wake of his admission.

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

DeSousa became Baltimore's police commissioner in January 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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