DC Councilman Jack Evans Stepping Down From Metro Board

Embattled D.C. Councilman Jack Evans is stepping down from his position on the Metro Board of Directors effective next week.

Democrat and Republican leaders from Maryland, Virginia and the District have called on Evans, who is chairman of the board, to step down after he admitted to the Washington Post Thursday that the ethics investigation had found the longtime council member violated the transit agency’s code of ethics.

On Tuesday Evans had told reporters the ethics investigation had found no wrongdoing.

Metro's Ethics Committee Chairman Clarence Crawford sent a letter to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Monday with the findings of Metro’s investigation into whether Evans used his position on the board to help any of his private law firm’s clients.

The letter, signed by Crawford but not the other members of the Ethics Committee, said the investigation found numerous ethics violations, including failing to disclose conflicts of interest, waging a campaign against a competitor and accepting money in connection with his official duties.

But the Ethics Committee took no official action, and Evans maintained his innocence Tuesday.

In a letter of resignation sent Thursday afternoon, Evans said he will step down from the board June 27, when his term as chairman ends.

It will be up to the D.C. Council to name a replacement for Evans on the Metro Board.

Evans’ attorney, Mark Tuohey, said Evans did not want to be any further distraction to Metro’s continued success.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the Ethics Committee should release its findings.

"I have now read the report released by the Ethics Committee’s law firm today, which now calls into question the May 23rd comments of the Ethics Committee Chair declaring the matter had been resolved and closed," a statement from the mayor read. "As I have said repeatedly, Mr. Evans needed to answer all questions about the conflict of interest allegations. This report and his resignation address his failure to uphold the public trust and allows WMATA and the District of Columbia to focus on the needs of Metro riders."

Evans is still facing a federal investigation into his dealing with several businesses that had contracts with the city.

Email records show he pitched himself to area lobbyists, arguing they should hire him because of his influence as the city's longest serving lawmaker and the Metro Board chair.

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