Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) and Gerald Connolly (D-Virginia) asked Geoffrey Cherrington, inspector general of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, to investigate evidence that Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans and Corbett A. Price sought to obstruct Metro’s investigation of Evans. Both Evans and Price formerly served on Metro’s board, Evans as chairman.
Cherrington told the Washington Post, which first reported the story, that he was still reviewing the congressional request but planned to honor it, adding: “Of course we’ll investigate it, but we’re evaluating what our next steps are going to be.”
Cummings is chair of the House Oversight Committee; Connolly chairs its government operations subcommittee, which oversees WMATA. Their request to the Metro IG was announced on Sept. 13.
The probe will join the list of other investigations concerning Evans. The U.S. attorney’s office and a law firm hired by the District Council are reviewing his conduct as a Council member. A Metro ethics committee concluded that Evans did not admit to a conflict of interest with Colonial Parking, although its investigators presented other ethical violations by Evans.
Metro has received two grand jury subpoenas regarding Evans, according to the Washington Post. On June 21, FBI agents searched his home. A week later, Evans resigned as Metro chairman and from its board.
The House Oversight Committee obtained more than 900 pages of Metro documents in July detailing the agency’s probe, the Post reported.
“These documents paint a disturbing picture of Mr. Evans’s ethical transgressions that resulted in his resignation from the Board,” the letter from Cummings and Connolly said.
The documents also detail efforts by Evans and Price “to impede the Ethics Committee’s investigative process,” the letter said. “These actions include verbal attacks and intimidation against staff and efforts to stifle the release of the findings of the Ethics Committee’s investigation.”
A government operations subcommittee hearing dealing with Metro safety as well as alleged misconduct by Evans has been scheduled for Oct. 22.