WASHINGTON (WMAL) – Embattled D.C. Council member Jack Evans may be temporarily stripped of some of his duties on the council as the investigation into possible ethics violations takes new turns.
Friday morning FBI agents raided Evans’ Georgetown home and carried away boxes. The FBI is staying tight lipped about the search only saying that there was court-authorized law enforcement activity at the house. A federal grand jury’s investigating whether Evans used his positions in public office for personal gains.
The raid comes a day after Evans announced he would be stepping down from the Metro board – which he chairs – next week. That happened after he admitted he violated the board’s ethics code by not disclosing a conflict of interest that netted him at least $50,000 a year from a local company. He had previously denied any wrongdoing but made the admission after a legal memo written by a law firm representing Metro’s ethics committee came out confirming the violations.
Hours after the raid, council chair Phil Mendelson said he would be appointing an ad hoc committee to conduct an investigation. He’s also asking the council to vote in July on his recommendation to remove Evans as chair of the committee on finance and revenue.
“I support the council setting up a process where we can get all the information that we need,” council member Brandon Todd said before Mendelson’s announcement.
Council member Charles Allen took it a step further and said Evans should be censured and removed from all council committees, including as chair of the committee on finance and revenue, until the federal investigation’s complete.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday the allegations go right at the heart of public trust.
“We are definitely disappointed and very concerned about the very serious allegations that were made this week,” Bowser said.
The continuing developments came as welcome news to Adam Eidinger who is spearheading an effort to recall Evans from the council.
“I have to say this is the best summer solstice gift I can imagine,” Eidinger said.
Eidinger added the recall effort has been a burden, and maybe Evans will step down voluntarily now. If not, Eidinger thinks the latest revelations will enable him to get the 5,200 signatures necessary – 10% of the registered voters in Ward 2 – to get the recall on the November ballot.
Friday morning, volunteers with the recall effort – who include many of Evans’ neighbors – seized the opportunity to get signatures from Georgetown residents, according to Eidinger.
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