Jack Evans, who has been under federal investigation, will not seek reelection to another term as chairman of the Metro board but will remain on the board.
Evans, who is a D.C. Council member, made the announcement at a Metro board meeting.
The eight voting members and eight alternate members of the board oversee the funding, operation and expansion of Metro. The next term of the board starts July 1.
Evans has been immersed in controversy over whether he violated ethics rules while on the Metro board.
He said the decision was simply because it is time for a transition to a new leader, not because of anything to do with the investigation.
“It’s time to rotate to a different jurisdiction,” Evans said.
Maryland Metro Board Member Clarence Crawford, who had led the ethics investigation, would not say anything about the outcome, or whether Evans leaving his role as chairman was a condition of closing the investigation.
“We have completed our review and we have closed the matter,” Crawford said.
Crawford, who is leaving the board this summer when Maryland’s Secretary of Transportation or another state employee replaces him, is among the board members who will serve on a nominating committee.
“We have reviewed everything, we did a thorough review, and we have closed the ethics investigation,” Crawford said.
He would not say whether or not any violation was found in the investigation or provide any other information about the findings. The investigation involved internal and outside lawyers and a four-member board committee.
Jack Evans did the right thing to step down as @wmata chairman, but he is so ethically compromised that he should resign from the board altogether. That is the only way Maryland—and the entire region—can truly move forward. https://t.co/P0Th4eriCc
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) May 23, 2019
Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly confirmed the investigation was closed May 7. That is the day Metro Board members had initially expected to act on a recommendation from the Ethics Committee to take action against Evans, but that closed meeting was canceled at the last minute. Instead, the Ethics Committee met again that day behind closed doors, with Evans apparently allowed to make his case to them before any final action.
Evans has served as the board’s chairman for an unusually long but critical period at Metro, including the start of Metro’s 24/7 shutdowns and as the region committed dedicated funding to the agency.
Evans escaped formal Metro discipline earlier this month over an ethics investigation into allegations he attempted to use his roles at Metro and on the D.C. Council for personal financial gain.
Evans has been reprimanded by his colleagues on the D.C. Council.
The council voted unanimously, by voice vote, to seize oversight of Events DC and the Commission on Arts and Humanities from Evans’ authority as chair of the Finance Committee.