Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa acknowledged Thursday that he failed to file federal and state income tax returns for three consecutive years after the Department of Justice (DOJ) slapped him with three misdemeanor counts of failure to file taxes.

In a statement published on Twitter, De Sousa said: “there is no excuse for my failure to fulfill my obligations as a citizen and public official, my only explanation is that I failed to sufficiently prioritize my personal affairs.”

The DOJ charged De Sousa for not filing federal returns for tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015. In his statement, De Sousa did indicate he filed taxes for 2016 and received an extension for 2017.

“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,” he added.

The Department of Justice said De Sousa could face as much as one year in prison and a $25,000 fine for each of the three counts.

Greg Tucker, a spokesman for Mayor Catherine Pugh, said the mayor expressed confidence in De Sousa following the DOJ announcement of the charges.

“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,” Pugh said in a statement.

Pugh said she has “full confidence” in De Sousa and believes that “he will continue to focus on our number one priority of reducing violence.”

According to The Baltimore Sun, “De Sousa earned $93,104 in 2013 when he is first accused of failing to file taxes. He earned $101,985 in 2014 and $127,089 in 2015.” In 2018, he could be earning as much as $210,000 per year, as he was recently promoted to commissioner.

Official DOJ Charging Document: Baltimore Police Chief Darryl De Sousa charged with failure to file taxes 

The Baltimore Sun said De Sousa became Baltimore’s top cop in January, after Mayor Pugh fired ex-Commissioner Kevin Davis, citing a surge of violent crime after the 2015 Baltimore Riots.

De Sousa expressed himself as “a chess player,” but as we have found out — the DOJ had the winning piece with a checkmate. The Baltimore Sun details De Sousa’s climb up the Baltimore Police ladder, as his tenure with force has been more than two decades.

“A personable commander, De Sousa easily won official confirmation to the commissioner position on a 14-1 vote by the Baltimore City Council — without debate — in late February. He is the first commissioner to come up through the ranks of the department since Frederick H. Bealefeld III, who served from 2007 to 2012. Davis and former commissioner Batts were hired from outside.

During his rise through the department, De Sousa held various leadership roles, mostly in the patrol division. He was made a deputy commander of the Northeast District in 2008, then became the commanding officer of the same district in 2011. In 2012, he was appointed lieutenant colonel overseeing the neighborhood patrol division, then colonel and chief of patrol in 2013.

De Sousa, 53, is a native of New York City but has lived in Baltimore since moving here to attend Morgan State University in 1983. When he was named to the department’s top position in January, De Sousa described himself as “a chess player” who has always been focused on the operational side of policing.”

Lt. Gene Ryan, president of the local police union in Baltimore, said he was not at liberty to discuss the ongoing case, as he was not familiar with “any of the circumstances behind these charges.”

“Obviously income taxes are a personal thing,” he said. “We will see how it pans out.”

While the Baltimore Sun notes the police department usually suspends it officers accused of misdemeanors pending the outcome of the case, we will discover De Sousa’s fate shortly as Baltimore’s top cop. Stay tuned!

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