Just a day after Washington Democrat councilman Jack Evans stepped down from his prominent position for allegedly violating ethics rules, the FBI raided his home in Georgetown!
Since March, Evans has been facing investigations as to questionable conduct, including using his government email to contact businesses and offer his “relationship and influence.”
Take a look at this breaking news on Twitter:
NBC New York has more:
FBI agents searched the home of embattled D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans on Friday morning, eventually taking away boxes.
The FBI Washington Field office confirmed that agents went to Evans' Georgetown home on Friday to conduct "court-authorized law enforcement activity." Evans has faced investigations and allegations for months over whether he used his office for personal gain.
Evans, who represents Ward 2, was at home along with his lawyer, Mark Tuohey, during the search. Federal agents arrived about 6 a.m. and hours later were seen removing boxes from the home and putting them in cars.
Police closed off the entire block for hours as federal agents searched Evans' home and neighbors stepped out to watch.
"This is definitely not a normal Friday morning in the neighborhood but it's necessary and if there's credence to FBI investigation I welcome it," said neighbor Eric Kmetz.
Evans' attorney said he had no comment on Friday morning. A spokesperson for Evans said that FBI agents did not search his D.C. Council office.
D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said in a statement that he will appoint an ad hoc committee to investigate Evans.
“It is imperative that public officials maintain high ethical standards," Mendelson said. "Public trust is critical. At the same time, it is delicate and precious. We must now work to regain it.”
Mendelson also said the council will remove Evans as chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue. That move must be approved by the full council in early July. Evans was already stripped of many responsibilities in his chairmanship of that committee in March, when the council unanimously voted in favor of a reprimand.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser expressed disappointment in Evans' conduct. She said the best next steps are for the council, the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability and federal officials to complete their investigations.
"We are definitely disappointed and very concerned about the very serious allegations that were made this week," Bowser said. "I have definitely encouraged the councilmember to deal with these allegations and address them head on."
Documents in the case are under seal, so it's unclear what exactly the FBI is investigating. However, Evans has faced investigations and allegations of corruption since March when the Washington Post revealed he used his government email address to offer his "relationships and influence" as a councilmember and Metro Board Member to potential business contacts.
Council members are allowed to hold outside jobs, but Evans' use of his government email address raised concerns. Following the Post report, D.C. Council and the Metro Board each launched reviews of Evans' behavior.
The Washington Post gave these details:
Federal agents on Friday searched the home of D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), a day after the disclosure of a confidential memo that says Evans “repeatedly and proactively” used his position as chairman of the Metro board to help a company that was secretly paying him $50,000 per year.
Within hours of the conclusion of the FBI search, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) announced that he would seek to strip Evans of his position as chairman of the council’s finance and revenue committee and appoint a panel to investigate him.
“It is imperative that public officials maintain high ethical standards,” Mendelson said. “Public trust is critical. At the same time, it is delicate and precious. We must now work to regain it.”
Evans has not been charged with a crime, and the council’s investigation could take months. But the federal and local actions signaled a once-unimaginable turning point for the District’s longest-serving elected official.
A seasoned retail politician and a powerful ally of developers and the business community, Evans has for decades been a fixture in the turbulent politics of a changing city.
For months, Evans has largely deflected questions about conflicts between his consulting business and his role as a lawmaker and head of the regional transit agency’s board.
But those defenses began to crumble after The Washington Post on Thursday published a 20-page memo summarizing the findings of an outside law firm hired by the Metro board to investigate those conflicts.
Evans, who falsely asserted for days that the ethics probe had cleared him of wrongdoing, said by late afternoon Thursday that he would resign from the Metro board — while keeping the seat he has held for 28 years on the D.C. Council.
Among its findings, the Metro investigation said Evans knowingly violated the board’s ethics rules by taking official actions that would benefit his personal friend, Rusty Lindner, and Lindner’s company, Colonial Parking.
Evans shared Metro ridership information with Lindner and repeatedly spurred the agency’s inspector general to investigate a rival parking company. At the same time, a consulting firm owned by Evans collected a $50,000 annual consulting fee from Lindner’s company that the council member did not disclose, the investigation found.
The probe also determined that Evans took action to benefit another consulting client, Digi Outdoor Media. Digi Outdoor wrote checks worth $50,000 to Evans and issued him 200,000 shares of the company’s stock. Evans said he returned the checks and stock.
The Metro board’s four-member ethics committee concluded that Evans committed only one ethics violation — a failure to disclose a conflict of interest related to his work with Colonial Parking.
A federal grand jury has subpoenaed documents from Evans and his consulting clients, as well as from the council and office of D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D). But until this week, Evans had largely avoided condemnation by his fellow elected officials.
That changed after the findings of the Metro investigation became public.
“This is straight-up corruption. I don’t know how else to view it,” said council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3). Cheh, who has served on the council with Evans for 12 years, said she felt “a deep sense of betrayal” after reading the memo, having given Evans the benefit of the doubt after questions about his alleged conflicts of interest arose.
“You sit next to somebody, they tell you things, you believe what they’re telling you, and then you find out it’s not so. It’s very, very demoralizing,” she said. “I’ve known Jack for a long time. I’m real sad about this whole thing.”
The Hill also commented:
FBI agents raided the home of D.C. councilman Jack Evans (D) on Friday, a day after a confidential memo made public alleged that Evans "knowingly" violated ethics rules to benefit his friends and clients instead of serving the interests of Washington's transit agency, Metro.
The Washington Post reported Friday that FBI agents raided Evans's Georgetown home early in the morning, instructing Evans to wait outside in a car while they conducted a search.
Kadia Koroma, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office for the District confirmed the "court-authorized law enforcement activity" at Evans's house in a statement to the Post.
Samantha Shero, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Washington Field Office, declined to offer further comment on the activity to the paper.
“I heard pounding on the door at 6 a.m., and I woke up and I looked out and saw all these cars,” a neighbor told the Post.
The raid comes just a day after news station WTOP obtained a confidential memo written by the D.C. Metro's general counsel in May that accused Evans of "failing to disclose a conflict of interest" during the course of his work.
According to the Post, Evans is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation into his relationships with clients. He also faces questions involving whether he used his position for business gains in his consulting company, which is registered to his home address.
Evans, who is an elected official on the D.C. Council, also serves as chairman of the D.C. Metro board. Evans said he would step down from the board following the memo's public release Thursday. The Post noted that it is unclear whether the early morning search of Evans's home was related to his work on the Metro board or D.C. council or both.
What do you think, is this indication of larger ethics violations in the Democrat party?
Will there be more truth to come out about this soon?
Guess we'll find out!