In the crowded delicatessens and posh apartment buildings of the Baltimore area's Jewish communities, there was distress and shame for Maryland's first Jewish governor.

"We don't know how the non-Jewish world is going to look at this," said Max Rabinovitz as he was leaving a Pikesville restaurant. "They're probably going to say 'Ha, Ha, one of your guys got caught.'"

In Baltimore's Little Italy, where Marvin Mandel walked among the neighborhood residents as a friend, and where he dined the evening of his conviction, news of the verdict also hurt.

Marion (Mugs) Mugavero sat yesterday morning on a corner stool in his luncheonette on South Exeter Street, his foot propped up on another stool, a crumpled white apron around his waist and said "I feel real sorry for him (the governor). Man, those jurors must have got cunfused having to decide on six defendants.

"In this world," he mused, "there's no man who isn't a little bit corrupt."

Marvin Mandel's appeal in the streets of Baltimore, among its working class people - and those who like him, rose up from the ranks - lies not in his charisma or any extraordinary ability. Instead, they like and respect Marvin Mandel, they say, because he always appears so ordinary - "a regular guy," they like to say in Little Italy.

"If they get rid of the little guys, who's left? Just the Rockefellers, the rich," Ralph Marsili complained over coffee at Sabatino's restaurant, where a private room is reserved for Mandel and his family and where the Mandels ate the night of the verdict.

"It's unconstitutional what they (the prosecutors) did. There's so many criminals running around on the streets," said Buddy Paulino, who owns a beer and crab restaurant where Mandel once ate. Paulino said he felt the same sympathy for the other defendants, whom he does not know personally.

In Pimlico, where Marvin Mandel grew up as a poor Jewish boy nicknamed "Buddy," and in the Upper Park Heights area, where he carved out his political career, talk of Mandel, their famous "neighborhood son," replaced the usual gossip.

"Everybody comes in and says, "Terrible news, terrible news,'" said Al Davis, owner of the Pimlico Hotel, a gathering place of many former Pimlico residents. "Everybody's very upset."

Some people said they thought Mandel was innocent and had been railroaded by federal prosecutors who were "out to get him" for political reasons.

Mandel has never hidden his belief that an undercurrent of anti-Semitism coming from Baltimore's law firms and banking houses prompted the federal investigtion.

"I'm Jewish and I don't think he did a damn thing wrong," said one man in Pimlico who asked not to be identified. "I'm going to contribute everything I can for his appeal so that he can be vindicated."

Paulino, dining with friends at Sabatinos, said the same. So did his friends.

Many of the people on the streets of Little Italy, interviewed Tuesday evening on corners or on the brick and marble front steps that are a trademark of East Baltimore houses expressed mistrust, if not downright dislike of the prosecutors in the Mandel case.

"If the government spents the same amount of money to find something on me [as they did on Mandel]. i'm sure they would succeed," said John Dell'Uomo, interviewed as he was leaving a citizens meeting at St. Leo's Church in the heart of little Italy.

"I think they went after him because he is Jewish," said one woman interviewed along "Synagogue Row" a several-mile stretch of Park Heights Avenue where many orthodox Jews live and where there are many synagogues.

Although their conversations centered on the governor, some of those interviewed expressed sympathy for Mandel-s condefendants. W. Dale Hess and Harry Rodgers and his brother William are known as regulars at Sabatinos. Irvin Kovens, like Mandel, is a product of Northwest Baltimore's Jewish community.

Mandel's friendship with the codefendants was East-Baltimore style. There, friend sticks with friend.

"What I felt when I heard the verdict was compassion, not vindictiveness. I had no feeling that now that these men have been found guilty, they got what they deserved," said Sam Palumbo in front of St. Leo's Church.

Others were critical of Mandel's divorce, which figured prominently in the trial as the reason why Mandel received several thousand dollars from his friends Kovens.

Paula Venick of Pikesville, a Baltimore County suburb that houses one of the largest Jewish communities on the East Coast, expressed scorn for Jeanne Mandel, who replaced the governor's first wife. Barbara, known to most as "Butsie," the daughter of a prominent Baltimore family.

"It serves Jeanne right," said Venick. "I just don't like her attitude. Jeanne thought she was riding high. Now she's not going to be in the lime-light any more."

Jacob J. Edelman, who was a close friend of Mandel's late parents. Harry Rebecca Mandel and who has known the governor since childhood, said he thought of the governor's parents when he learned about the guilty verdict.

Edelman, a longtime labor dawyer, recalled: "I said to myself. "Thank God the parents were not here.'"