Baltimore Police Commissioner resigns amid allegations of tax evasion

Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa has resigned, after being charged with failing to pay his taxes.

The Mayor's office announced on Tuesday that a national search has been launched to find a replacement, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The announcement comes just days after De Sousa was charged with three misdemeanor counts of failing to file federal income tax returns by federal prosecutors.

Mayor Catherine Pugh placed him on paid leave Friday.

“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,” Pugh said in a statement.

The U.S. attorney's office has alleged that De Sousa "willfully failed to file a federal return for tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015." He was a salaried employee of the Baltimore Police Department in each of those years.

He faces up to one year in prison and a $25,000 fine for each of the three misdemeanor counts.

De Sousa's attorney, Steven Silverman, has said federal prosecutors didn't give his client a chance to offer an explanation or to file late tax returns before they brought criminal charges against him.

De Sousa was named Police Commissioner for Baltimore City in January, taking over for Kevin Davis in January. Pugh cited the city's issues of crime and rising homicide rate as the reason for his dismissal.

There were over 340 homicides in Baltimore City in 2017, and just over 100 for 2018, according to The Sun.

“Crime is now spilling out all over the city, and we’ve got to focus,” Pugh said, according to the Baltimore Sun. “I am charging [De Sousa] and his staff to get on top of it to reduce the numbers and to reduce them quickly.”

De Sousa was confirmed for his position in February.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.