Two congressional Republicans are requesting all documents and communications related to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s investigation into Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans.
In a letter sent to newly elected WMATA board chairman Paul Smedberg, who replaced Evans, Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH-04) and Mark Meadows (R-NC-11) raise concerns about an investigation that found Evans violated multiple ethics rules.
A law firm hired by Metro’s ethics committee determined that Evans used his position as Metro board chairman to help his friend and private client, among other violations. At issue is Evans’ private work for various law firms and through his personal firm, NSE Consulting.
Evans resigned from the Metro board effective June 30, after the release of a 20-page memo summarizing the firm’s findings. The memo references 700 pages of documents from WMATA, from Evans, and from the D.C. Council, including emails between Evans and his Council staff.
However, the memo says, the D.C. General Counsel’s Office refused to provide the law firm with documents it had already given to the U.S. Attorney’s Office related to its own investigation of Evans.
Jordan and Meadows, both members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which has jurisdiction over the District, make a vague reference to the potential impact Evans’ scandal could have on the District’s push for statehood.
“We write to request more information about the conduct of former Chair Evans, who has said that D.C. has ‘pulled [its] act together’ and is ready to become a state,” the letter says.
The representatives point out that WMATA officials have said that a report and supporting documentation of the Evans investigation “does not exist.”
“The apparent lack of documentation about the investigation raises questions about whether this effort was a genuine one, or simply a whitewash,” the letter says.
The letter requests all materials related to WMATA’s investigation, including those related to the ethics committee’s decision not to produce written findings, by July 30.
In light of Metro’s investigation, the D.C. Council voted to remove Evans as chair of the Council’s finance and revenue committee and to hire a law firm to conduct its own investigation into Evans’ private business dealings.