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FBI Searches Home of DC Councilmember Jack Evans

The search of Jack Evans' home comes one day after he announced his resignation from the Metro Board of Directors

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    FBI Searches Home of DC Council's Jack Evans

    After a report noted instances of potential conflicts of interest in D.C. Council member Jack Evan's behavior, the FBI searched Evans' home in Georgetown on Friday morning. He recently resigned as WMATA Board chair. News4's Mark Segraves reports. (Published Friday, June 21, 2019)

    FBI agents searched the home of embattled D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans on Friday morning, eventually taking away boxes.

    The FBI Washington Field office confirmed that agents went to Evans' Georgetown home on Friday to conduct "court-authorized law enforcement activity." Evans has faced investigations and allegations for months over whether he used his office for personal gain.

    Evans, who represents Ward 2, was at home along with his lawyer, Mark Tuohey, during the search. Federal agents arrived about 6 a.m. and hours later were seen removing boxes from the home and putting them in cars.

    Police closed off the entire block for hours as federal agents searched Evans' home and neighbors stepped out to watch.

    "This is definitely not a normal Friday morning in the neighborhood but it's necessary and if there's credence to FBI investigation I welcome it," said neighbor Eric Kmetz.

    Evans' attorney said he had no comment on Friday morning. A spokesperson for Evans said that FBI agents did not search his D.C. Council office.

    D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said in a statement that he will appoint an ad hoc committee to investigate Evans. 

    “It is imperative that public officials maintain high ethical standards," Mendelson said. "Public trust is critical. At the same time, it is delicate and precious. We must now work to regain it.”

    Mendelson also said the council will remove Evans as chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue. That move must be approved by the full council in early July. Evans was already stripped of many responsibilities in his chairmanship of that committee in March, when the council unanimously voted in favor of a reprimand.

    D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser expressed disappointment in Evans' conduct. She said the best next steps are for the council, the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability and federal officials to complete their investigations.

    "We are definitely disappointed and very concerned about the very serious allegations that were made this week," Bowser said. "I have definitely encouraged the councilmember to deal with these allegations and address them head on."

    Documents in the case are under seal, so it's unclear what exactly the FBI is investigating. However, Evans has faced investigations and allegations of corruption since March when the Washington Post revealed he used his government email address to offer his "relationships and influence" as a councilmember and Metro Board Member to potential business contacts.

    Council members are allowed to hold outside jobs, but Evans' use of his government email address raised concerns. Following the Post report, D.C. Council and the Metro Board each launched reviews of Evans' behavior.

    In March, Evans was reprimanded by the D.C. Council for violating the code of conduct. He was stripped of his responsibilities as the chairman of the Finance and Revenue Committee.

    “This is very difficult for this council, and a very difficult time for myself,” he said at the time. “In retrospect, I would have done things very differently."

    Metro's ethics investigation, released in June, found he committed "multiple" ethics violations and prompted several calls for Evans' resignation from the Metro Board of Directors.

    On Thursday, Evans bowed to that pressure and announced he would resign later this month.

    A letter signed by Metro board member and Ethics Committee Chairman Clarence Crawford, but not other members of the committee, cited numerous violations including failing to disclose conflicts of interest, waging a campaign against a competitor and accepting money in connection with his official duties.

    One specific issue comes from Evans' employment at Colonial Parking, which paid the councilmember $50,000 a year, according to the letter. The Inspector General did confirm that on two separate occasions, Evans asked their office to investigate a competing parking company. That competitor was found to have committed wrongdoing.

    Evans touted that the Metro's ethics committee found he only violated one code, regarding failing to avoid conflicts of interest. The Metro Board took no official action, allowing Evans to maintain his innocence.

    "The ethics committee at Metro found no violations of any ethics rules," Evans said.

    Others raised concerns that politics may be involved in releasing the findings.

    "I am also concerned about the Metro process not being transparent," Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Thursday.

    Former News4 reporter Tom Sherwood pointed out that Crawford was appointed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who said Evans is "ethically compromised" and should resign.

    "We do know the governors of Maryland and Virginia have been trying to get Jack Evans off the board for several years. Jack Evans was the leading proponent for Maryland and Virginia to step up and dedicate money for Metro's spending," Sherwood said.

    Last month, the District Board of Elections approved a petition to recall Evans.

    Fellow Councilmember Charles Allen, who represents Ward 6, called for Evans to be censured and removed from all committees until any federal investigation is complete.

    "There is no scenario in which Councilmember Evans’ conduct is inappropriate for his service as our representative to the Metro Board, but somehow acceptable as a Councilmember," part of a written statement from Allen said.

    The local union for Metro workers took a much stronger stance.

    "Good bye and good riddance," read the top of a statement released Friday. "Jack Evans and the WMATA Board were forced, kicking and screaming to arrange Jack Evans’ departure. Evans was caught with his hands in the cookie jar to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars that he took as bribes to grease the rails for his private contractor buddies."

    The union's statement referenced several grievances not related to the ethics investigations.

    Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.