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Baltimore Police Commissioner De Sousa resigns

Prosecutors issue grand jury subpoena to city, BPD
Posted at 12:10 PM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 09:08:33-04

Darryl De Sousa is done.

The commissioner of just four months resigned Tuesday morning as he battles federal charges of willfully not filing his taxes for three years.

Federal prosecutors have also issued grand jury subpoenas to the Baltimore Police Department and the city's Finance Department.      

The subpoenas come as the latest blow to the city and the department.  Both subpoenas ask specifically for information about the former commissioner's taxes, pay and other records.  WMAR 2 News obtained copies of the subpoenas Tuesday.  They require information on him over the last decade.

BPD's subpoena was issued last week, just after the federal tax charges came out against the former commissioner.  The extensive list of documents requested include tax information, personnel files, payroll information, internal investigation records, employment, education and travel. 

The city's finance department was subpoenaed last Friday. It asks for tax records and any correspondence between the city and the I-R-S regarding De Sousa.

Mayor Pugh released a statement Tuesday saying she accepted his resignation and will immediately start a national search for his replacement.

RELATED: BPD Commissioner Darryl De Sousa charged with failure to file taxes for 3 years

"Today I received the resignation of Darryl De Sousa as Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department and have accepted it. I have initiated a national search to identify the new Commissioner. In the meantime, Gary Tuggle will serve as Interim-Commissioner. 

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. This broad-based, grassroots approach - underpinned by the utilization of new crime-fighting technology - is working and will continue to be effective as indicated by the downward trend in violence. The Baltimore Police command staff is fully committed to bringing about the reforms to the practices and culture of the department that we are implementing and which are vital to ensuring the trust and confidence of all our citizens. 

As Mayor, I will not let up in pursuing my top priority of making our City safe and our neighborhoods worthy of the lives of all residents."

De Sousa’s resignation quickly elicited reactions of disappointment and frustration city wide.

"It's sad for him, it's sad for the city,” Councilman Brandon Scott said, “It's a distraction away from what we need right now which is a focus on reducing violence in the city and reforming the police department"

Scott has been an ardent supporter of De Sousa for years.

That plus what he feels is the lax vetting process by the mayor's office makes the resignation all the more disappointing.

"It's extremely frustrating. That for me is why I am so disappointed because he knows that I hold him to a higher standard than everyone else. That doesn't make me any less sad, that doesn’t take anything away from what he has done in the police department in the past but he knows that we hold him to a higher standard."

Scott was one of many reacting to the news.

The Fraternal Order of Police released a statement via twitter saying, “We are anxious to put these events behind us and hope that Mayor Pugh can quickly find a suitable replacement.”

Quickly because there is much work to do.

There is technology to come online, data policing to launch and of course the consent decree to abide by.

Acting Commissioner Gary Tuggle will lead the BPD in the meantime and sent out an internal memo today saying in part “Thank you for your professionalism during these tough times. We will succeed because you all are the professionals who keep our agency moving forward.”

Tuggle shared a statement with the BPD rank and file that was shared with local media. 

"As I mentioned just the other day, my focus is on crime, the Consent Decree, and moving this agency forward. The sworn and civilian staff here have done a great job and the results of your hard work continues to show as we have seen across the board reductions in violent crime. We have a long way to go, but I know you are all up for the challenge. 

Thank you for your professionalism during these tough times. We will succeed because you all are the professionals who keep our agency moving forward." 

 Tuggle’s message striking a similar tone as Monday when WMAR 2 News was able to ask him directly about De Sousa's then suspension on camera.

"We are gonna stay laser focused on crime reduction and then fulfilling the mandates of the consent decree. So the crime plan we know is solid, the strategy is solid, the methodology is solid. We just need to stick to what we are doing," Tuggle said.

It is unclear is Gary Tuggle, a Baltimore native and former Baltimore city officer is interested in the permanent job.    

SEE ALSO: Pugh puts Commissioner De Sousa on paid suspension following federal charges