According to one D.C. Council member, Chairman Phil Mendelson’s proposed reprimand of Jack Evans “is merely a slap on the wrist” — and he’s pushing for an investigation into Evans’ possible violations.
In a statement, council member David Grosso said the reprimand “stops short of any real accountability as (Evans) will remain at the helm of the powerful Finance and Revenue Committee from which he peddled his influence using the prestige of his office.”
“True consequences for his behavior should necessitate the reorganization of the current committee structure,” Grosso said.
Grosso said that, while the news media had brought “Evans’ actions to light,” it was the responsibility of the D.C. Council to look deeper.
“It is incumbent upon the Council to conduct its own investigation into the extent to which our colleague has violated our Code of Conduct, policies, and laws and ensure public trust in the work of this body,” he said.
Evans apologized at a news conference Tuesday following accusations that he used his elected, public position for private gain.
“I want to take this opportunity to apologize to my constituents, to the residents of the District of Columbia and to my colleagues,” Evans said. He did not respond to questions.
Mendelson called Evans’ behavior “unacceptable,” and proposed the reprimand.
“Council member Jack Evans violated the council’s code of conduct when he used his office to email business proposals to potential employers. I will therefore be introducing a resolution later today to reprimand Mr. Evans for his actions,” he said.
The reprimand cites proposals made by Evans that outline how he could generate business for law firms by using his status and experience as the council’s appointee to the Metro Board, as a council member and as the chair of the Committee on Finance and Revenue. It states solicitations occurred on several occasions, including in 2015 and 2018, when Evans directed an employee of the council to use government resources to email “business proposals seeking employment.”
The reprimand also specifies how it does not pertain to issues that have the potential to lead to “other sanctions” currently under investigation by the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability and the U.S. attorney’s office.
“A full Council investigation by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Chairman will provide a thorough accounting and then allow the Council to weigh its full options to hold council member Evans accountable,” Grosso said.
WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.
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