WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) — The Metro Board’s embattled chairman Jack Evans is firing back after a letter from the head of an ethics board. The letter says the DC councilman violated ethics rules. Evans has been reprimanded for alleged “influence peddling” by the DC Council and is facing a federal investigation.
Maryland and Virginia’s governors demanded the results of an ethics probe into Evans be released. The report is not out, but Clarence Crawford, who heads the ethics board, wrote Gov. Larry Hogan and Gov. Ralph Northam a four-page letter detailing multiple violations by Evans of WMATA’s “code of conduct” but since the board didn’t vote on the violations and took no action, Evans tried to claim he’s in the clear.
“The letter was not sent out on behalf of the ethics committee as you know. It’s just ‘Clarence’s letter’ and several members don’t necessarily agree with the letter and so I’ll repeat: the ethics committee at Metro found no violation of any ethics rules on my behalf,” said Evans.
But that’s not what the letter WMATA’s ethics committee chair Crawford said. He wrote that Evans was investigated for his personal business dealings while serving as Metro chair. The letter says Evans had ethics violations in three areas: his business relationships with Colonial Parking and Digi Outdoor Media, and his private job seeking efforts that touted his official positions.
Evans' term as WMATA chairman ends June 30, and he has said he intends to continue serving as a board member. But now, even that is being called into question. The DC Council reprimanded him for his business proposals. DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson – who could remove Evans as DC’s member on the Metro Board — said he wants to see the full investigation before he makes any move.
“Well, if there was not a written record, that makes this more difficult to determine exactly the facts. And when I say the ‘facts’ there seems to be a little bit of a ‘he said/she said’ with regard to the ethics investigation,” said Mendelson.
Hogan tweeted the following on Evans' Tuesday:
"Jack Evans’ corruption has forced WMATA to go to great lengths to cover up his extensive wrongdoing. This is outrageous and totally unacceptable. Maryland funds WMATA, and we deserve to know everything this investigation uncovered — no sugarcoating or stonewalling."
Either way, Evans has 12 days left as chairman. Whether or not he stays on the Metro Board, he faces multiple obstacles ahead: a recall effort in his Ward 2, there are multiple candidates looking to challenge his next election, and most of all, federal prosecutors who have been investigating him for months.