At least 24 members of the D.C. Democratic State Committee have signed a letter asking D.C. Council member Jack Evans to resign from his elected position as National Committeeman.
That’s a little more than a quarter of the 87-member committee.
“We fully expect it to grow well beyond a third over the next few days and weeks,” Ward 4 Committeeman Todd Brogan, one of the signees, said.
The National Committeeman is elected to a four-year term by Democratic voters during the primary election.
“The National Committeeman’s role is to represent the local D.C. party at the national level to things like the Democratic National Committee, and to the convention that we’ll eventually have before we choose a presidential nominee in 2020,” he said.
The resignation request follows accusations that Evans used his city council position for private gain, and the launching of investigations by the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability and the U.S. attorney’s office.
The letter dated March 6 reads: “We are deeply troubled by the allegations against you, your responses to them to date, and the ethical implications should they be proven true.”
It goes on to say: “We are concerned that the clouds growing over your alleged activities complicate efforts to win D.C. Statehood, determine D.C.’s position in the primary calendar, and restore the faith of D.C. voters that their local Democratic Party leadership puts their interests first.”
“Having a national figurehead … representing our local party to the national level who’s under federal investigation raises a lot of concerns and justifiable questions from people,” said Brogan.
Although the letter makes clear that committee members could launch a formal effort to remove Evans from his position, they’re choosing not to in hopes that Evans will resign and “spare the party a lengthy dispute.”
Brogan said the procedure to remove members is rarely used, and in this case would be very difficult.
“For a member who’s elected citywide it’s a pretty onerous process. It requires collecting petition signatures from almost 4,000 registered democrats in the city,” Brogan said.
Speaking only for himself, Brogan said he thinks Evans should resign from council, too.
“Obviously due process is necessary, he has every right to that. But I think given the overwhelming evidence that’s already been made public, given the length of time — which has been years — under which he’s been accused of these sorts of unethical behaviors and misuse of public office, I think it probably would be better for the city if he stepped aside,” Brogan said.
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