An Anne Arundel County councilman pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to a charge that he failed to file several personal and business tax returns over the course of six years.
Councilman Daryl D. Jones, a Democrat from Severn who is serving his second four-year term on the council, entered the plea in Baltimore before U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Bockin said in court that Jones, a defense attorney in private practice, failed to file both his personal and payroll tax between 2002 and 2007.
He said Jones failed to file four personal income tax returns and 31 quarterly payroll tax returns for his businesses: a law office in Annapolis and a Glen Burnie tavern known as Dotson's Live — operated through an entity called F. Diamond Properties.
Under the plea agreement reached last November, Jones will pay back the loss to the government pegged at $108,369.57. It was unclear whether he has already paid the full amount.
Jones said previously that he fell behind on his taxes after the death of his mother and that he later filed and paid them. He and his attorney, Andrew C. White, declined to comment after the judge accepted his plea.
The section of the county code that deals with the Arundel council does not impose penalties for council members convicted of crimes, and Jones has said that he has no plans to resign.
Council Chairman Richard Ladd, a Republican, declined to comment when reached Tuesday. And several of the council's other members declined to talk about Jones' case.
Alan M. Rzepkowski, chairman of the county Republican Party, called Jones' actions "inappropriate."
"While I understand there were some extenuating circumstances, he is a public official and a lawyer, and the public should hold him to a higher standard," he said. "We are a society of laws and rules, and he should follow them just as everyone else does."
Jones, 47, was released on his own recognizance and faces up to a year in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 28. He said little at the hearing.
Jones was charged in an Aug. 2 indictment with "willfully" failing to file a 2005 return by the April 17, 2006, deadline. He earned a gross income of $244,365 in 2005 — before he was elected to the council, according to the indictment.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun