Tag Archives: Baltimore Police Department

Baltimore’s police commissioner resigns after charges for not paying federal taxes

darryl de sousa and catherine pugh

Mayor Pugh and her hand-picked tax evader De Sousa

The IRS doesn’t care about your oversights and inability to prioritize your own affairs. Quit it with the excuses.

From Star-Telegram: When Baltimore’s mayor hand-picked Darryl De Sousa as her choice for police commissioner, heralding his experience and the respect he commanded in the city’s force, he proudly described himself as a chess player who uses strategic thinking to avoid pitfalls.

Now just a few months later, De Sousa is out of the game, resigning in embarrassment for failing to file his taxes, a key test of Adulthood 101.

De Sousa’s path from the corner office to the revolving door was speedy, even for a city accustomed to leadership instability in a scandal-plagued police force. De Sousa resigned on Tuesday, less than four months into the job, after being charged with failing to file three years of taxes.

Tuesday also was the deadline federal prosecutors gave the city for producing years of De Sousa’s financial records.

Rising through the Baltimore force’s ranks since the 1980s, De Sousa was the third commissioner in three years and the ninth since 2000. His downfall was a blow to Mayor Catherine Pugh and the City Council, which nearly unanimously authorized his promotion in February.

Law enforcement needs to follow the law. It is critically important that the citizens of Baltimore have complete faith in their police department. I am deeply disappointed by Mr. De Sousa’s actions that leave us in this place,” City Councilman Zeke Cohen said.

Pugh had portrayed her choice of the veteran police commander as the right person to lead the force as the violent crime rate continued to soar. She said his resignation shouldn’t derail the department’s recent successes, and she’s already begun a national search to find his successor.

“I want to reassure all Baltimoreans that this development in no way alters our strategic efforts to reduce crime by addressing its root causes in our most neglected neighborhoods,” said Pugh, who fired De Sousa’s predecessor, Kevin Davis, in January after roughly 2 ½ years on the job.

In the meantime, the force is being led by Deputy Commissioner Gary Tuggle. He was named as acting leader Friday.

The U.S. Attorney’s office announced last week that 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 proven, each of three misdemeanor counts carries up to one year in prison and a $25,000 fine. But his ongoing case has the potential to get a whole lot worse for De Sousa: Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to the city’s finance and police departments, seeking specifics about his pay, taxes, travel, and second jobs dating back years, according to a Tuesday report by The Baltimore Sun.

De Sousa himself could not immediately be reached Tuesday. His attorney, Steven Silverman, said he did not wish to comment. Last week, Silverman said federal prosecutors didn’t give his client a chance to explain himself or file late returns before bringing criminal charges.

De Sousa’s twin brother, Jason, described his brother’s resignation as “a loss for Baltimore City.”

“This is not the end. He has a very bright future, he’s very talented,” he said, adding that his brother was taking care of his parents, who had Alzheimer’s, during the period when he didn’t file his taxes.

Last week, De Sousa issued a statement admitting his failure to file federal and state taxes for those three years. He called it an oversight, and said he did file his 2016 taxes and got an extension for 2017 with the help of a “registered tax adviser.”

“My only explanation is that I failed to sufficiently prioritize my personal affairs,” De Sousa said.

The U.S. Attorney’s office did not immediately comment on De Sousa’s resignation. His case is being handled by the same federal prosecutors who recently prosecuted eight members of a rogue Baltimore police unit called the Gun Trace Task Force. All but one await sentencing after pleading guilty or being convicted at trial of corruption charges.

The city’s police union, which applauded De Sousa’s promotion earlier this year, said it was “anxious to put these events behind us” and hoped Pugh would find a suitable replacement fast. “Our members deserve consistency in their leadership,” said Gene Ryan, union president.

DCG

Bloomberg foundation gives $5M to Baltimore to “fight crime”

jack young baltimore

Baltimore council president Jack Young

As of December 3, Baltimore had 322 homicides, with 280 of those caused by a shooting. This occurs despite having very strict gun laws.

And the shootings occur despite having over 600 cameras to “make a person think twice before they do something.” Apparently installing 60 more cameras throughout the city will somehow “bring out a lot of crime.”

I wonder why Bloomberg is throwing so much money at a cause that will have minimal results.

From MyFoxBaltimore: Mayor Catherine Pugh announced Sunday $5 million in funds to help fight crime. “I’m very grateful for Bloomberg Philanthropies for reading the Violence Reduction Plan, for understanding what we need in order to make this city safe,” Mayor Pugh said.

Bloomberg Philanthropies, a charity of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, awarded Baltimore the grant, which will fund 60 new CCTV “Citiwatch” cameras, 25 mobile licence plate readers and expand gunshot detection coverage by 10 square miles.

“It will make a person think twice before they do something. You see, people don’t think twice because there aren’t any cameras around,” William Goode of West Baltimore said. “It will help it a lot. It will bring out a lot of crime.

The city already has more than 600 Citiwatch cameras, according to Open Baltimore. BPD and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice will decide where those cameras will go.

“Five million dollars on cameras?” a man named “Tony” asked Fox45 Sunday. “You can put $5 million on so many things in this city that would help this city for real, and you’re gonna use cameras?”

In a press release, the grant was met with optimism from City Council President Jack Young.

“One of the most common requests I receive from my constituents is for more vigilance and more cameras in our neighborhoods,” said Council President Jack Young (a 21-year veteran of the council). “I’m extremely pleased to see the City directing resources to tools that have demonstrated success in keeping communities safe.”

DCG