By Micha Green
AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor
mgreen@afro.com

The road to resignation for Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans (D) began in 2019 after he was tied to allegations of ethical misconduct and abuse of power; however in the first full week of the New Year, the longest serving member of the Council announced his resignation as of Jan. 17.

On Jan. 7, Evans submitted a letter to District of Columbia Council Chairman Phil Mendelson announcing his resignation.

Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans (D) resigned from his role on the District of Columbia Council effective at the close of business on Jan. 17. (Courtesy Photo)

“After nearly 30 years of public service to the District of Columbia, I have advised the Board of Elections that I resign my position as the Ward 2 Councilmember on the Council of the District of Columbia, as of close of business on Friday, January 17, 2020,” Evans wrote. “I believe Washington, D.C. to be the pride of the nation and I’m proud of the contributions I have made in helping to create a vibrant city.  It has been an honor and privilege to serve the District of Columbia and the residents of Ward 2.”

This announcement comes after Evans had been under fire for allegations regarding abuse of power and ethical misconduct dating back to 2014.  The same day Evans resigned, the Council had scheduled a hearing regarding his expulsion. 

Evans’ resignation beat the Council’s vote to expel him to the proverbial punch; yet his action proved that the Ward 2 Council member had already felt the pressure to leave his position. 

The law firm of O’Melveny and Myers released a 97-page public report that alleged 11 ethical violations concerning Evans.

“The report from O’Melveny and Myers indicated that in their view as a result of their investigation, which included numerous interviews, that there were a number of violations of the Council’s code of ethics and District of Columbia ethics laws,” Mendelson said at the brief hearing on Jan. 7. 

“Mr. Evans was paid quote-unquote large sums of money to be available to clients and take actions benefiting them,” Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh said, according to WUSA 9.

Prior to his resignation political organizers from around the District were lobbying for the Council to expel Evans.  While they had not officially voted, in December, 2019, the Council unanimously recommended the expulsion of their longest serving colleague. 

At the hearing regarding Evans’ expulsion, Mendelson announced Evans’ resignation. 

“In light of this letter, in which Mr. Evans states that he has advised the Board of Elections that he will be resigning on close of business Friday, Jan. 17, I’m not going to go forward with this hearing today.  Instead what I’m going to do is recess this hearing until Tuesday, Jan. 21,” Mendelson said.

“His resignation is a necessary step that brings to a conclusion this unfortunate episode in the history of the District of Columbia,” Ward 5 Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D) wrote in a statement.  “This process has reached what has become the only acceptable outcome and Councilmember Evans will no longer serve on the District of Columbia Council.”

McDuffie seemed to believe that Evans’ resignation would lead to a renewal of trust from District residents and voters.

“With this now behind us, the Council can begin to rebuild the public’s trust,” the Ward 5 Councilman said.

Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor