"I think that Daryl's going to the do the right thing at the end of the day for District 1 and Anne Arundel County," said Fink. "District 1 has to have representation, I firmly believe that."

Democratic Councilmen Jamie Benoit and Chris Trumbauer declined to comment. Edward P. "Ned" Carey, the chairman of the county Democratic Party, did not return several messages seeking comment.

Jones pleaded guilty in August to the charge that he failed to file both his personal and payroll tax returns — 35 different filings — between 2002 and 2007. He said in court that he had neglected his responsibility to pay his taxes because he had become overwhelmed caring for his terminally ill mother, who died in 2006, and a brother with mental illness.

He failed to file four personal income tax returns and 31 quarterly payroll tax returns for his two businesses — an Annapolis law office and a Glen Burnie tavern known as Dotson's Live, operated through an entity called F. Diamond Properties.

He has repaid the government $108,369 but still owes penalties and interest totaling $27,447. His lawyer, Andrew C. White, who pleaded with the judge to spare Jones jail time and grant him probation, said in court he had instructed his client to withhold payment on the fines until he double-checked the figures.

Dan Nataf, director of the Center for the Study of Local Issues at Anne Arundel Community College, said the jail sentence greatly tarnishes Jones' reputation and his effectiveness as a councilman.

"It's hard to see how he would be able to retain the seat under these conditions," said Nataf. "As somebody who should be a sort of paragon of excellence, his credibility will certainly be diminished."

About 40 supporters swarmed the fifth-floor Baltimore courtroom where Jones was sentenced. State Sen. James "Ed" DeGrange Sr., a Democrat who calls Jones a friend, was there and said he was "very disappointed" in the sentence. "People have gotten a lot less for far more egregious crimes."

"When people know the real Daryl Jones, they'll find that he is a decent, caring individual who cares for his constituents and cares for his family. When you make mistakes, there's a penalty for it. He'll have to deal with it — and it's not going to be easy."

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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