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THE NEWS:

D.C.’s longest-serving councilmember, Ward 2’s Jack Evans, is as good as gone. 

The ad hoc committee assembled to determine appropriate punishment for Evans’ ethical violations, which includes every councilmember except him, unanimously voted to recommend expulsion during a public hearing on Tuesday, reports City Paper’s Mitch Ryals. While yesterday’s vote was preliminary, it was seismic in local politics. It’s unprecedented; the Council only gained the power to expel in 2011. And before the procedural vote, only three members—At-Large Councilmembers Elissa Silverman, David Grosso, Robert White Jr.—publicly said Evans should be forced out. 

The actual vote will likely take place in 2020. What a way to ring in the new year. 

It’s hard to imagine Evans changing the minds of two of his colleagues, even if some are long-time buddies. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said in a statement afterward: “The trust won’t be rebuilt as long as Mr. Evans remains on the Council … [W]hen it comes to the reputation of the Council, I have to put principle above friendship and partisanship.”    

A brief summary of how we got here: Evans, who represents some of the city’s more affluent areas, like the Central Business District and Georgetown, has long held a side gig. Councilmembers can hold a second job—Ward 3’s Mary Cheh is a law professor, for example—but Evans’ consulting work led to questions about conflicts of interest, which were documented for years in various media reports. The Council hired an outside law firm to investigate Evans’ misdeeds, and the report, released last month, found he violated ethics rules at least 11 times over the last five years. Essentially, he used his public office to help clients who paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars while doing little actual work.  

Now, Evans’ colleagues are making him pay for breaking the rules. —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • Activists are trying to preserve D.C.’s street food scene by protecting vendors from law enforcement. They are calling on the Council for help, and already one member has a plan for how to prevent future altercations with police. [WCP]

  • DC State Board of Education targets white, Western bias in social studies. [DCLine]

  • More scooters in 2020, but less options. [DCist]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

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  • Someone who spoke with Jack Evans yesterday says the lawmaker knows his career is over. The distinction of being D.C.’s only expelled councilmember looms large in his mind. [Twitter]

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser supports Evans’ ouster. About a year ago, she designated an official “Jack Evans Day” to mark his 65th birthday. [Twitter, Twitter]

  • The Board of Elections, which meets tomorrow morning, is ready to decide whether the petitions to recall Evans are valid. [BOE]

  • No charges for Fairfax County official Jeff McKay, accused of a quid pro quo. [WAMU]

  • A former WMATA bus driver is suing the agency for harassment and retaliation. [NBC]

  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan delays Beltway toll vote. [Post]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Course of Action is a new column exploring how one dish can tell a chef’s story. [WCP]

  • Restaurant power couple Fabio and Maria Trabocchi got a divorce. [Post]

  • Happy Endings Eatery opens in Rosslyn. [Eater]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • D.C.-born singer and bassist Mattie Safer, formerly of The Rapture, opens up about his new band ahead of their Comet Ping Pong gig this Friday. [WCP]

  • The Post launches a new Spanish podcast. [Washingtonian]

  • How independent bookstore owner Patrick Darby is facing the possible closure of his beloved shop Novel Books. [Post]

  • Meet the designers and boutique owners trying to build the local fashion community. [WAMU]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Wizards starting center Thomas Bryant is expected to miss at least three weeks with a stress reaction in his right foot. [ESPN]

  • Georgetown University athletic director Lee Reed issued a statement clarifying that James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc are leaving the men’s basketball program because they “expressed an interest in transferring from the University.” A temporary restraining order has been granted against LeBlanc due to allegations that include harassment and burglary but the allegations do not involve Akinjo. [Post]

  • The Mystics have promoted Asjha Jones to assistant coach. [Bullets Forever] 

MAKE PLANS, byEmma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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