In Historic Vote, DC Council Committee Recommends Expulsion of Jack Evans

In a historic vote, every member of a D.C. Council committee voted Tuesday to recommend the expulsion of Council Member Jack Evans, who repeatedly has been accused of ethics violations.

Members of the Ad-Hoc Committee recommended Evans' ouster in a 12-0 vote. The Council has never voted to expel a council member. 

"If we don't expel, what rises to the level of expulsion? We're saying this is acceptable," Council Member Elissa Silverman said. "I don't think we should pass the buck to voters. This is about us."

A Council vote on the expulsion of Evans could come as early as Dec. 17.

"The foundation of good government is trust," Mendelson said in a statement. "We have lost that. It will take time to rebuild. But it won’t be rebuilt if the Council’s reaction to this scandal is merely a censure vote. The trust won’t be rebuilt as long as Mr. Evans remains on the Council. While the issue of one person’s behavior is important, concern about the status of our institution is more critical."

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser supported the Council's decision.

"Throughout this investigation, I have called on the Council to be fair and urgent in their considerations, but to act quickly to regain the public’s trust in the Council as an institution," she said in a statement. "As a former member of the Council and now mayor, I stand by them as they make these very difficult decisions.”

Evans, who is under federal investigation, has fought an attempt to have him recalled from office. On Friday, he filed a challenge to a petition calling for his recall, alleging more than a third of the collected signatures are invalid.

A 97-page report issued last month found that Evans repeatedly violated the council's code of conduct and accepted outside income from 10 companies.

Evans violated the D.C. Council ethics rules 11 times since 2014 and earned $400,000 from clients who were deemed "prohibited sources," the investigation by a law firm the council hired said.

One such client was Colonial Parking. According to the report, Evans worked to block proposed tax increases that would have impacted Colonial Parking.

The report also found that Evans acted repeatedly to support the merger between Pepco and Exelon. At the same time, he tried to get a job with the law firm handling the merger and the report says Evans did get the job after the merger was approved.

A previous investigation found Evans, who served as chairman of the Metro Board, violated Metro ethics. He stepped down from his post on the board when that chairmanship expired, acknowledging that he didn't disclose a profitable conflict of interest.

Evans was first elected in 1991 and is up for reelection next year but has not filed paperwork to run.

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

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