Former Baltimore police chief De Sousa's initial federal court appearance on tax charges set for Monday

Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa’s initial appearance in federal court on three misdemeanor charges of failing to file federal tax returns will be on Monday at 1 p.m., the federal prosecutor’s office confirmed Wednesday.

The charges against De Sousa were unsealed Thursday. He was suspended by Mayor Catherine Pugh on Friday, and resigned Tuesday.

The charges allege De Sousa willfully failed to file federal tax returns in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He faces up to a year in prison and a $25,000 fine for each charge.

De Sousa issued a statement on Twitter on Thursday admitting that he did not file state or federal tax returns in those years. But he said taxes were withheld from his police salary, and that he did file returns in 2016, filed for an extension in 2017, and was working with a professional tax preparer to rectify the situation.

Attorneys for De Sousa have criticized prosecutors for not giving him time to rectify the situation prior to filing criminal charges against him.

Federal prosecutors have also subpoenaed the city’s finance and police departments for records going back a decade about De Sousa’s pay, travel, secondary jobs, taxes and internal affairs files.

Pugh has said a national search for De Sousa’s replacement will be conducted. Deputy Commissioner Gary Tuggle, who joined the department in March after a long career in the Drug Enforcement Administration, is now interim commissioner.

De Sousa’s initial appearance in U.S. District Court in downtown Baltimore will provide the first opportunity for him to be apprised formally of the charges against him. It is not clear what else may occur during the hearing.

The hearing will be before Chief Magistrate Judge Beth Gesner, a spokeswoman for the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s office said.

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