“I expect to announce an acting Deputy Commissioner in the very near future,” Harrison said in a statement released Friday afternoon. “I want to thank Deputy Commissioner Bonaparte for the job he did under extremely difficult circumstances, and for his service and dedication to the department and the city throughout his career.”
Bonaparte had retired as deputy district commander of the Eastern District in 2008 after 21 years on the force to become senior director of public safety for East Baltimore Development Inc. In 2012, he founded Frontline Management Services, which provides public safety services in city neighborhoods.
Then-acting commissioner Darryl De Sousa brought Bonaparte back in February 2018 as deputy commissioner of support services with an annual salary of $180,000.
Bonaparte quickly moved to deputy commissioner of operations; the key position that oversees the day-to-day work of thousands of officers. He was moved after a former officer De Sousa had named to the post lost the job — when a memo about past complaints about him leaked to the news media. That former officer, Thomas Cassella, a 23-year veteran of the department, said the memo was incorrect. He later filed a defamation suit over it.
Bonaparte has had his share of headlines himself. In August, The Sun found that Bonaparte had not filed personal property tax returns for two businesses in 2017 and one of them in 2018. He said at the time the “clerical matters” brought to his attention had been “rectified.”
In October, sources told The Baltimore Sun an internal investigation was under way after Bonaparte and Deron Garrity, the chief of patrol, got into a confrontation outside the police union lodge.
That same month, Cassella sued De Sousa and Rodney Hill, the former head of the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which includes internal affairs, saying his reputation was damaged by the “repeated dissemination of these false claims.” Online court records show the suit remains open.
De Sousa had been appointed to lead the Police Department by Mayor Catherine E. Pugh in January 2018 but resigned several months later after he was charged with failing to file income taxes. In December, he pleaded guilty to three counts for failure to file taxes, and he will be sentenced at the end of this month.
Bonaparte could not immediately be reached for comment Friday evening.