- The Washington Times
Friday, September 13, 2019

Two leading House Democrats on Friday asked the Washington Metro system’s inspector general to review the ethics investigation into former board Chairman Jack Evans.

House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, the chairman of the committee’s government operations subcommittee sent a letter to Geoffrey Cherrington, the IG for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, requesting “a thorough and complete evaluation of the ethics investigation of Mr. Evans’s actions.”

The Metro board of directors investigated Mr. Evans after media reports indicated he was using his position of power on the board to benefit clients of his consulting firm. Mr. Evans resigned as chairman and stepped down from the board in June. Shortly after, the D.C. Council stripped Mr. Evans of his chairmanship of the finance committee.

“These documents paint a disturbing picture of Mr. Evans’s ethical transgressions that resulted in his resignation from the board,” Cummings and Connolly wrote of the 900 documents WMATA provided to the ethics investigation. “These actions reportedly also may be the subject of an ongoing federal law enforcement investigation.”

The inspector general agreed to testify at an Oct. 22 subcommittee hearing on WMATA.

The letter comes after Republican leaders on the committee, Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, sent a letter Tuesday to Mr. Cummings and Mr. Connolly urging them to interview officials involved in the investigation. And in July, Mr. Jordan and Mr. Connolly requested all documents from the Metro investigation.

“We’re relieved that Chairman Cummings has finally acknowledged the serious, bipartisan concerns about Mr. Evans’s alleged misconduct. Maybe if he wasn’t so focused on President Trump, he would have taken action months ago—like Republicans did,” said said Russell Dye, a Republican spokesperson for the Committee. “We hope that the Chairman’s engagement here is just the beginning of robust Committee oversight.”

The letter to the inspector general also mentioned that the documents indicate that Corbett Price, a former D.C. representative on the Metro board and Ward 2 council member, impeded the ethics investigation by verbally attacking and intimidating staff and boycotting meetings to deny a quorum.

The D.C. Council hired a law firm to conduct its own investigation into Mr. Evans, which council Chairman Phil Mendelson said should be complete once the council returns from its summer recess.

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