As the federal investigation into D.C. Council member Jack Evans continues, Mayor Muriel Bowser made it clear Wednesday that she does not want it to serve as a distraction from the work ahead in the District.
“I’m obviously very sad that a public servant who had dedicated his career to improving the District made some very significant mistakes and he’s reaping the consequences now, but I think like most people, I’m ready to turn the page and focus on the business of the District of Columbia,” she said.
In an effort to avoid being removed from the council, Evans, the longest-serving member of the council, submitted his letter of resignation to Council Chair Phil Mendelson on Tuesday.
It read, in part, “I believe Washington, D.C., to be the pride of the nation, and I am proud of the contributions I have made in helping to create a vibrant city. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the District of Columbia and the residents of Ward 2.”
Evans will officially step down Jan. 17.
His announcement occurred during a meeting when the council was expected to hear from him regarding violations of the body’s code of conduct.
An ad hoc committee — comprising every council member but Evans — concluded last month that Evans took part in “prolonged and egregious wrongdoing.” That followed a November report detailing unethical practices. These include not disclosing outside income, as well as not recusing himself from votes in actions on behalf of clients who were paying him at the time.
Evans “took action to trade his council influence, votes and prestige of office for hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from prohibited sources,” said the report. In July, an investigation into private consulting funds that Evans accepted resulted in a fine of $20,000.
And, as noted, Evans is also under federal scrutiny: The FBI raided his Georgetown home back in June.
WTOP’s Jack Pointer and Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.