DC Democratic Party to Jack Evans: ‘It’s time to move on’

Jack Evans
FILE – D.C. Council member Jack Evans listens to a question during a news conference at WMATA headquarters, on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, in Washington. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Embattled D.C. Council Member Jack Evans could be expelled from his seat on the council as soon as next week, and now the District’s Democratic Party is telling Evans “it’s time to move on” from his role there, too.

Evans serves as a national committeeman with the D.C. wing of the party, but last week during a meeting of party members, what was described as an overwhelming number of members voted to pass a resolution asking Evans to step aside from his leadership role.

“It’s time to move on,” said D.C. Democratic Party Chairman Charles Wilson. “We have been at this for nearly a year.

“This resolution is about the present,” Wilson added. “It’s not saying that we don’t appreciate the work he’s done for the party. It’s not saying we don’t appreciate all the positive things he’s done for the city.”

The resolution was sponsored by Ward 6 committeewoman Wendy Cronin.

“We can’t afford to have people who can’t act with integrity as part of our party,” Cronin told WTOP. “I think it’s very damaging to the party to have someone who has performed like Jack Evans has in his elected position to have a role, and a very significant one, in the party.

Last week, a D.C. Council committee voted 12-0 to expel Evans from the council. A committee report released last month claimed Evans had committed numerous ethics violations, including failing to disclose thousands in outside income and failing to recuse himself from votes in actions on behalf of clients who were paying him at the time.

Evans has been dogged by ethics complaints for most of the year.

“I think we as a party need to make it clear to the voters that that is not OK with us, that that’s not the kind of character we want or need in our leaders,” Cronin added.

Ultimately, it’ll be up to Evans to decide if he’s going to resign from the party — there’s no way to force him out without going through a recall process. However, Wilson said, the party is in the process of revising bylaws and the party’s constitution so members “have more flexibility” to remove party leaders in the future.

“People feel embarrassed, not only for Jack, but for the party and the District’s politics,” Wilson said. “We’re trying to clean up D.C. politics … and right now, these latest developments aren’t allowing us to do that.”

Cronin said the overwhelming though not unanimous vote against Evans sends a clear signal that “he shouldn’t be part of the leadership of the Democratic Party anymore.”

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