Virginia officials ask WMATA to make Jack Evans ethics probe findings public

Virginia transit officials approved a letter Thursday calling on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to publicly release the results of an ethics inquiry into Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans.

Members of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, an independent agency that appoints four members to WMATA’s Board of Directors, unanimously approved a letter urging the board’s Ethics Committee to release the findings of its probe into Evans, The Washington Post reported Friday. The request, which does not mention Evans by name, follows the committee’s decision to close the inquiry without releasing its results, according to The Post.

“Releasing a report on the findings of the Ethics Committee’s recently closed investigation will demonstrate WMATA’s commitment to accountability and transparency, and help the agency bolster the public’s confidence as the region embarks on critical capital projects and funding requests,” the letter states.

Clarence Crawford, the board member who led the investigation into Evans, indicated that the probe into Evans began following a report that Evans improperly used his position as Metro board chair to solicit business, according to The Post. Crawford announced an end to the board’s investigation the same day that Evans, a member of the board since 2015, announced he would not seek re-election as head of the board when his term expires at the end of this month, The Post reported.

Evans told The Post that his decision not to seek re-election had nothing to do with the investigation, but Crawford declined to confirm that fact, The Post reported. Crawford told The Post the probe is “resolved” and “closed,” and the committee will not release any more information to the public.

The Metro investigation is the latest controversy surrounding Evans, who remains under federal investigation for a potentially unethical business deal he struck using his elected office, the Washington City Paper reported in March. The D.C. Council officially reprimanded Evans two months ago, and the D.C. Board of Elections last month allowed an effort to recall Evans to continue collecting signatures.

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