COMMISSIONER SUSPENDED| Mayor Suspends Police Commissioner

BALTIMORE (WBFF)-- Baltimore's Mayor Catherine Pugh has suspended Baltimore's Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa after he was federally charged for failing to file personal income taxes.

The Mayor says the Commissioner is suspended with pay effective immediately. Pugh has appointed Deputy Commissioner Gary Tuggle as acting-commissioner.

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Deputy Commissioner Tuggle is currently responsible for the Strategic Investigations and Support Services Bureau.

Deputy Commissioner Andre Bonaparte will continue in his responsibility of overseeing the Operations Bureau.

Commissioner De Sousa's attorney Steven Silverman, Esq. issued a statement saying the Commissioner was working with a tax consultant to file past returns and unlike most taxpayers, was not given the chance to offer an explanation or given the opportunity to mitigate the issue before charges were filed.

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"The Commissioner was not afforded an opportunity to offer an explanation or mitigation prior to the filing of the charges because he did not learn of the investigation until after the charges were filed. Most taxpayers in this situation are first given an opportunity to cure-by filing belated tax returns. Criminal charges are usually a last resort by the government after the tax payer has ignored the government's warning. Had the government made an inquiry prior to charging, the government would have learned that Commissioner De Sousa was in the process of seeking assistance from a professional tax consultant to file all past due returns. It is also noteworthy that Commissioner De Sousa was at all times a W-2 employee of Baltimore city and subject to withholdings. This is not a situation where he failed to pay any taxes."

A local tax attorney spoke to FOX45 saying the Commissioner could have filed and owed $1 Million and not gotten this much publicity.

The Mayor said De Sousa's suspension pending resolution of this matter is "in the best interest of the Baltimore Police Department, the City of Baltimore and him personally."

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