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Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Bonaparte had previous tax troubles

Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Andre Bonaparte’s failure to file his business property tax returns for 2017 and 2018 wasn’t his first run-in with the tax authorities.

On Feb. 8, 2013, the state entered a tax lien against Bonaparte and his wife for $3,421.79 for unpaid taxes, according to court records. Bonaparte satisfied the lien on July 21, 2014, records show.

Bonaparte did not respond to a request for comment.

The Baltimore Sun reported this week that Bonaparte had not filed personal property tax returns for two businesses in 2017 and one of them in 2018. He was therefore not operating in compliance with Maryland law. Each of his firms was listed as “not in good standing” with the state, according to the Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Bonaparte spent 21 years in the Police Department before retiring as deputy district commander of the Eastern District in 2008 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, including Eager Park. He also owns Frontline Consulting LLC.

Bonaparte returned to the department in February as one of two deputy commissioners. He oversees the operations bureau, which includes patrol, criminal investigations and special operations, and earns an annual salary of $180,000.

On Tuesday, The Sun asked the department about Bonaparte’s companies. The next day, Bonaparte filed the returns and sent the records to The Sun. He called his failure to file the returns a “clerical error.”

The Sun’s findings — compiled through state and city records — raise questions anew about how well Mayor Catherine Pugh’s administration vets top-tier appointees.

Three Pugh officials resigned this year after questions were raised about their backgrounds. In March, Pugh’s spokesman Darryl Strange quit within hours of being introduced at City Hall, after The Sun inquired about three lawsuits filed against him when he was a police officer. In May, the city’s new deputy civil rights director, Charles G. Byrd Jr., stepped down after The Sun inquired about his disbarment as an attorney last year.

And in May, Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa resigned less than four months into his tenure after federal authorities charged him with three misdemeanor counts of failing to file federal taxes.

Pugh, through a spokesman, declined to comment about the vetting process.

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