Ex-Arundel councilman Jones files appeal to reclaim seat
Layer says decision was 'contrary to all case law'
Councilman Daryl D. Jones, shown here in December 2006 being sworn in, is serving a five-month federal prison term. (NANINE HARTZENBUSCH, Baltimore Sun)
A county Circuit Court judge ruled last month that Jones, who began serving a five-month federal prison term in January for failing to file income taxes, was required to live in his district during the full duration of his term in office.
The County Council removed Jones, a Severn Democrat, from the council, arguing that although he had a permanent home in his district, he violated the county charter when he left to serve the prison term.
Jones' attorney Linda M. Schuett argued in a 31-page appeal filed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on Monday that Jones has his primary legal residence in the district despite his imprisonment.
Schuett wrote that the council's claim that Jones abandoned his seat when he began serving his prison term "is contrary to all case law and should be seen for what it is — an attempt to remove Jones from his elected office for conviction of a misdemeanor without any law in place to allow for the removal."
County Attorney Jonathan A. Hodgson did not respond to a message seeking comment.
The council voted unanimously to vacate Jones seat and later selected Peter I. Smith, a Severn Democrat, to serve the rest of Jones' term.