GEORGETOWN, DC — The D.C. Council voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend that Jack Evans — the city’s longest serving lawmaker — be expelled from the council over ethics violations.
Tuesday’s 12-0 vote by the ad-hoc committee is historic, given that it’s the first time District lawmakers have moved to oust one of their own. A full council vote is required to boot Evans from office. It has been scheduled for Dec. 17.
“Mr. Evans has betrayed each and every one of us — his colleagues, the government, and the residents of the District of Columbia,” D.C. Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) tweeted. “I don’t think there is any other action that we can fairly take other than expulsion. Nothing short of that would be proportionate to what he’s done.”
The Ward 2 Democrat is accused of using his standing as a public official to benefit friends and business stakeholders, raising ethics questions and prompting multiple investigations.
Earlier this year, groups like the District’s Board of Ethics And Government Accountability and O’Melveny & Myers LLP investigated Evans — who was chairman of the Metro Board — over these allegations and found that he violated multiple ethics rules by using his influence to get business for his private consulting work.
The Board Ethics Committee later released a 20-page memo outlining Evans’ violations.
“Our investigation uncovered a pattern of conduct in which Evans attempted to and did help his friends and clients and served their interests, rather than the interests of WMATA,” the memo read.
According to the memo, Evans took “an active role in parking issues at WMATA” without disclosing that he had a $50,000 contract with Colonial Parking. He also allegedly tried to “oust” Colonial’s competitor, LAZ Parking, by lobbying for the Metro’s Inspector General to look into the business. LAZ Parking manages Metro’s parking facilities.
Embroiled in scandal, Evans resigned as chairman of the Metro Board in June. That same month, the FBI executed a search warrant of Evans’ Georgetown home. It is unclear what law enforcement officials were searching for.
Last month, volunteers with the goal of ousting Evans announced that they had enough signatures to force him into a recall election.
The Committee to Hold Jack Evans Accountable said it had submitted a petition with more than 5,700 signatures from registered voters in Ward 2 to the D.C. Board of Elections. The committee was required to collect about 5,000 signatures — or support from 10 percent of Ward 2 voters — to trigger the city’s first-ever recall vote for a council member. The D.C. Board of Elections has 30 days to certify the petition.
If election officials certify the petition, the city will conduct a special election for the voters of Ward 2 that asks them whether they are for or against the recall of Evans. If voters support a recall, another election will be held to determine who will represent Ward 2 for the remainder of Evans’ term (which ends in January 2021).
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