Jack Evans Addresses DC Council About Metro Ethics Probe

Jack Evans resigned from the WMATA board after acknowledging that he didn't disclose a profitable conflict of interest

A Washington, D.C., Council member and former District transit authority chair addressed his colleagues about a law firm's investigation that found he violated Metro ethics, but he refused to answer several questions unrelated to that investigation.

Jack Evans spent more than two hours defending himself to the council Tuesday morning during an administrative meeting.

Evans' home was raided by the FBI last month. He resigned from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board last week after acknowledging that he didn't disclose a profitable conflict of interest. A federal grand jury is investigating his private consulting business.

Evans admitted it was wrong to tell the public Metro's ethics committee found no wrongdoing, but he disputed much of the ethics report.  

The council may launch its own investigation of Evans. A vote is planned for next week on whether to remove him as chair of the Committee on Finance and Revenue.

Evans said the council shouldn't take action against him until the investigation is complete. Last week, Evans asked for a chance to be heard before voting on his chairmanship, but Tuesday he was only willing to answer questions about the Metro ethics report.

Council member Mary Cheh asked Evans if he ever took any action for his clients, but he declined to answer, saying that is part of the investigation.


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“Well, then I’m a little frustrated because we can’t go much further on that point," Cheh said.

"The inability to talk about a lot of these things and a week ago we sat here and the conversation was I’ll sit here to answer as many questions that are asked, and a lot of questions aren’t getting answered," Council member Charles Allen said.

“I have just lots of questions that clearly are not going to get answered today," Council member David Grosso said.

Grosso concluded Evans should be removed as chairman of the finance committee and should recuse himself from future votes when appropriate.

Council member Kenyan McDuffie, who didn't ask any questions, said he didn't participate because Evans wasn't under oath.

When asked Wednesday if he was being treated fairly by his colleagues, Evans paraphrased a line from "The Godfather Part II."

"This is the profession I’ve chosen, so whether it's fair or unfair, who knows?" he said. "But I just want an opportunity to be able to address some of the concerns that people have raised."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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