A united D.C. Council voted Tuesday to recommend that member Jack Evans be expelled in the face of repeated ethics violations, the first time lawmakers ever moved to eject one of their own.
The extraordinary action comes after a series of investigations that found Evans, the city’s longest serving lawmaker, used his public office to benefit private clients and employers who paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“He has betrayed each and every one of us,” said Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), who is leading the internal investigation of Evans. “You would speak to him about council things but he was speaking for the people who were buying him.”
Evans, a Ward 2 Democrat, was at the Wilson Building but did not attend the meeting. He had no immediate comment, a spokesman said. After the vote, his office was dark and his car was gone
A person who spoke to Evans on Tuesday afternoon said the lawmaker recognized his council tenure was over and was concerned about being the first member to be expelled, but was not yet prepared to resign.
“He recognized this is the vote and it’s not going to change, and so now he has to make his decision,” said the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. The person described Evans’ tone as “businesslike.”
Evans has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime.
“The Council should not easily or readily disenfranchise the residents of a ward,” wrote Abbe Lowell and Mark Tuohey, who are representing Evans. “That would create a precedent that could easily be expanded and misused against anyone who lets that occur.”