A top Democrat lawmaker in Washington, longtime D.C. Council member Jack Evans, revealed on Tuesday that he would be resigning from the seat he’s held since 1991 effective Jan. 17, The Washington Times reported.
According to the Times, Evans’ resignation follows a months-long ethics scandal and comes right before the council was set to hold a vote to expel him.
“A very sad moment”
In a brief letter announcing his resignation, Evans noted that he’d served the council for nearly three decades.
“After nearly 30 years of public service in the District of Columbia, I have advised the Board of Elections that I resign my position as the Ward 2 Council member on the Council of the District of Columbia,” he wrote. “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.”
Washington’s NBC4 reported that the chairman of the council, Phil Mendelson, said Evans’ resignation was sad, but appropriate.
“I think it’s a very sad moment,” he said. “I also think it’s the appropriate set of actions that are occurring.”
According to NBC4, the council was set to hold a vote on Jan. 21 to remove Evans from office, weeks after the council voted unanimously 12–0 to recommend his expulsion. It was the first time in D.C.’s history that such a vote was held, according to the Times.
The move came after an independent investigation of Evans by a law firm hired by the council revealed numerous ethical violations by the longtime council member, including violations of the council’s code of conduct and the receipt of outside income from at least 10 different companies — some of which were deemed “prohibited sources” — that reportedly totaled more than $400,000 since 2014.
A federal investigation has since been opened and is ongoing.
Meanwhile, the D.C. Board of Elections will soon meet to set a date for a special election to fill Evans’ seat on the council. According to the Times, there are already six declared candidates in the Democratic primary race to fill it.
But while his resignation may have saved Evans from the embarrassment of being expelled from the D.C. council, it won’t make the alleged ethics violations — and the related investigations — go away.
This likely isn’t the end of the bad news for the formerly prominent and powerful Democrat politician.