Former D.C. Council member Jack Evans has been fined $35,000 by the D.C. ethics board in a settlement stemming from violations that ultimately led to him resigning his seat on the council.
The D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (BEGA) found that the violations Evans committed were due to a misunderstanding of the Council’s code of conduct and a failure to regularly seek the guidance of the Council’s general counsel when a potential conflict of interest appeared, according to the settlement.
Evans was accused of using his office for personal gain by intentionally failing to disclose tens of thousands of dollars in outside income and failing to recuse himself from council votes that involved clients who were paying him at the time.
“The BEGA matter was the last one involving all that I addressed with the Council and others over the last two years. It raised no new issues, confirmed any violations on my part were based on my misunderstanding of the rules and not an intention to violate them,” Evans said in the statement.
Evans stepped down from his seat in January 2020 amid calls for his resignation.
Evans is now running to reclaim the Ward 2 seat he resigned from in this year’s election saying “As I have often said, I am sorry for any mistakes I made and hope D.C. residents will allow me to continue to work for them in solving the many issues D.C. will have as we try to get back to normal lives soon.”
An ad hoc committee comprised of every member of the D.C. Council except Evans voted unanimously to expel him, finding he had engaged in “prolonged and egregious wrongdoing.”
Evans resigned before the full committee voted.
NBC’s Mark Segraves told WTOP that because the field for Evan’s former Ward 2 seat is so crowded and the winner only has to receive a plurality of the vote, the former council member has a decent chance of retaking it, even if he only receives a relatively small percentage of the total vote.
The Democratic primary is June 2.
Following news of the latest ethics fine, D.C. Council member Charles Allen said if Evans does win a seat back on the council, he and other members are “prepared to continue the investigation into Evans.
Just to clarify:
1) This isn’t a resolution to the gross ethics violations by Jack Evans
2) Should he return to the Council, we’re prepared to continue the investigation into his pattern & practice of ethical violations that we cut short last year to go ahead vote to expel him. https://t.co/VnEqLxy7vg
— Charles Allen (@charlesallen) May 22, 2020
WTOP’s Jack Pointer contributed to this report.