Facing probable expulsion by his colleagues and an ongoing federal investigation, Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans announced his resignation Tuesday afternoon from the D.C. Council.
“I believe Washington, DC, to be the pride of the nation, and I am proud of the contributions I have made in helping to create a vibrant city,” Evans wrote in a letter to Council Chairman Phil Mendelson Tuesday afternoon. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the District of Columbia and the residents of Ward 2.”
Evans’ 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.
In July, an investigation into private consulting funds that Evans accepted resulted in a fine of $20,000.
He’s also been under federal scrutiny: The FBI raided his Georgetown home back in June.
In addition, the council member has faced pressure from constituents, with a petition being circulated to force a recall election.
“The public’s trust in our government — in the council, particularly — has been shattered,” Mendelson said in a statement last month. “Over and over, people question the integrity of our votes because of a pattern and practice of one member, Mr. Evans, to participate when he should not have because of proven conflicts of interest.”
In an interview WTOP on Tuesday, the chairman called the move “sad but necessary.”
“The public has a right to expect that their their elected officials are ethical, and it’s a fragile trust,” said Mendelson, who added the council is on its way to regaining the public’s confidence. “My sense is that since last December, when that initial vote was taken about expulsion, that public has regained much of what it had lost,” he said.
Ward 5 Council member Kenyan McDuffie echoed the sentiment.
“This process has reached what has become the only acceptable outcome,” McDuffie wrote.
Evans took office in 1991, making him the longest-serving member of the D.C. Council. An expulsion would have made him the first member to ever be expelled from the council.
His resignation is effective Jan. 17.
WTOP’s Rick Massimo contributed to this report.
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