Image by Adam Fagen licensed under Creative Commons.

News broke from the Washington Post last week that Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans threatened WMATA officials in order to hide the results of their investigation into his ethics violations. This comes after previous revelations that Evans leveraged his political positions to gain personal consulting gigs.

Additionally, investigators claim that two other members of the WMATA board, DC appointee Corbett Price and federal appointee David Horner, blocked public disclosure of Evans’ actions. Since the news last week, most of Evans’ Ward 2 challengers have publicly condemned his actions.

Sign the letter: Stop the rot!

Patrick Kennedy

Kennedy reiterated a June 20 statement calling for Evans to step down from the WMATA Board (which he has since done) and either present exculpatory evidence or resign from the DC Council. (On June 21, Kennedy put out a followup statement saying Evans hadn’t accounted for his actions and should resign from the council.) He further called for the other DC voting member of the WMATA board, Corbett Price, to resign or be removed after he previously downplayed the results of WMATA’s internal investigations.

Jordan Grossman

Grossman called for Evans to resign from the DC Council, stating “This vindictive harassment and constant deception by Jack Evans to prevent the public from learning about his corruption is unacceptable.”

Daniel Hernandez

Hernandez called the news a “clear abuse of power” and called for Evans to go. He previously compared Evans’ insufficient responses to the scandals to that of “a kid that’s made to apologize.”

John Fanning

While he didn’t specifically call on Evans to resign, Fanning previously issued a June statement which said that “holding the affairs of Ward 2 hostage while he attempts to battle these claims, is irresponsible and wrong [of Evans]!” Fanning also “urge[d] Jack to do what is ultimately in everyone’s best interest.” We are unable to find a comment from Fanning on the most recent revelations.

Kishan Putta

Lastly, we could not find a statement from Putta, but he has retweeted other calls for Evans, Price, and Horner to go.

Take action

As we wrote last month, corruption is an urbanist issue. DC has tough problems with affordable housing, sustainable transportation, and racial and economic equity that demand bold leadership from our elected officials. The foundation of this leadership is public trust, and when that trust erodes, everyone suffers.

That’s not to mention that Evans actions are just plain wrong and require immediate reprimand. Councilmember Mary Cheh has called for Corbett Price, like Jack Evans, to resign from the WMATA Board of Directors, but most other elected officials have been quiet or noncommittal about the news. It’s encouraging to see potential future leaders and Ward 2 candidates taking strong public stances against Evans’ behavior. Every voice helps.

Please take action yourself! Sign our letter below and/or write to the DC Council to take stronger action against Evans, and to Mayor Muriel Bowser and US Department of Transportation Secretary Chao to remove Price and Horner from the WMATA board.

Sign the letter: Stop the rot!