Ward 2’s Jack Evans to Resign Jan. 17; Special Election June 16

This story has been updated.

Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans announced on Jan. 7 that his last day on the Council will be Friday, Jan. 17. A special election to fill the Ward 2 seat will be held on June 16.

Meanwhile, the Democratic primary to determine the Democratic nominee for the Ward 2 seat will be held on June 2.

Of the current Democratic candidates seeking Evans’s seat, Jordan Grossman, Patrick Kennedy and Kishan Putta said they will vie in the June 16 special election.

Below is the original story about the Evans resignation.

There were all the usual items you might find on the Jan. 7 District Council meeting schedule: contract approvals, honorary resolutions and so forth.

There was also this: a hearing to consider “the expulsion of Council member Jack Evans for code of conduct violation.”

This was not unexpected, since the Council, with some shock and awe, had unanimously (by a 12-0 count) voted for expulsion back in December. The Jan. 7 discussion was a continuation of that action, which would be completed formally and finally on Jan. 21.

Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans has been accused of ethics violations that included using his position on the D.C.  Council to help private clients of his own consulting firm, among other things. That result came in the wake of a lengthy investigation by a law firm hired by the Council, which found him having committed 11 ethical violations.

Evans did not say anything — and then again, he did, and with some finality.

Just before discussion on the matter began, Evans turned over a letter of resignation to Council Chair Phil Mendelson, indicating that his last day on the Council will be Jan. 17.

Evans stated in the letter that “after 30 years of public service to the District of Columbia I have advised the Board of Elections that I will resign my position as Ward 2 Council Member of the District of Columbia as of Jan. 17. I believe that Washington D.C. to be the pride of the nation and I am proud of the contributions I have made in helping to create a vibrant city. Is has been an honor and a privilege to serve the District of Columbia.”

The letter struck a somber note and likely came as something of relief, inasmuch that it served to stop further meetings, challenges and speculations about the fate of Evans, the city’s longest serving Council member, and avoided the expulsion. Evans served a large and diverse ward that includes Georgetown, downtown, Shaw, Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle, where he was an advisory neighborhood commissioner.

The resignation, which Mendelson called “sad,” came as something of a surprise since Evans had not indicated that he was planning to resign.

Still, the resignation also felt like a climax to a long and often tense series of revelations and hearings, heated public and Council discussion and charges that included Evans resigning his seat on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board and failing to fully explain his activities that related to his private consulting firm clients.

Numerous candidates had already lined up to oppose him for the Ward 2 seat in either a possible special election or later in the regular election cycle. In addition, there had also been a bid for a recall election.

Evans, who had run unsuccessfully twice for mayor, rose to the Council in a tough election in a crowded and large field. He was known as a Council member who helped promote downtown business changes, including the new convention center, but was also known for his very effective constituent service activities.


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