Md. Gov. Hogan issues threat to Metro board chair Evans

WASHINGTON — A very public feud between Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and the head of the Metro board escalated Wednesday as Hogan said he may lobby for the board to be disbanded.

Hogan was responding to Jack Evans, the board chairman, who has threatened to use his authority to halt a land transfer related to the Purple Line light rail project unless Maryland agrees to a plan he favors to restructure the board.

“The chairman is attempting to practice extortion against the state of Maryland,” said Hogan. “He’s threatened to hold up the Purple Line if we don’t go along with his demands.”

As part of Purple Line construction, Maryland needs the land rights at Metro’s Silver Spring, College Park and New Carrollton stations.

Metro board members are expected to consider the land deal during a meeting Thursday.

Hogan said if Evans followed through with his threat to delay the process, he “would be willing to go along with Eleanor Holmes Norton from D.C. who said the entire board should be disbanded.”

Virginia’s governor also weighed in on the Metro board Wednesday.

On WTOP’s Ask the Governor program, Gov. Terry McAuliffe implored his counterparts in Maryland and D.C. to agree to shrink the board to five people, saying he wants to convince Hogan and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to support a smaller board by the end of the year.

“We’ve just got to show leadership and get this off the table,” McAuliffe said. “We need a world-class transportation system.”

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is expected to release a report in the coming days, recommending, among other things, that the current Metro board be replaced with a five-member panel.

Meanwhile, Evans, who has faced growing pressure to resign, said he has no plans to back down anytime soon.

“I get a lot of criticism, but you can call me any name you want,” he said. “I’m not going to go away.”

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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