The District’s government ethics board fined Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans $20,000 Thursday for using government resources to seek employment at local law firms.
The D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability voted 4-0 to fine Evans and require him and his staff to undergo ethics training by October 8, according to his settlement with the ethics board. The agreement comes after Evans directed his chief of staff to send emails to law firms touting Evans’ influence as a councilmember to attract potential clients and amid multiple ongoing investigations into Evans’ business dealings.
BEGA enforces D.C.’s Code of Conduct, which prohibits councilmembers from using their public office or staff for personal benefit.
The board claims it found “substantial evidence” that Evans violated the rules by using his council staff’s time and government resources to solicit employment at the two law firms. Evans’ fellow councilmembers formally reprimanded him in March for the same actions.
Evans, who agreed to the settlement, did not admit to violating the code in a statement released Thursday.
“Councilmember Evans, while not admitting any violation of the D.C. Council Code of Conduct, recognizes that these issues needed resolution in order to avoid a protracted and costly dispute resolution process,” Evans’ office said in the statement.
BEGA’s agreement makes it the second ethics agency to find evidence of wrongdoing surrounding Evans’ business dealings in the past year. Evans resigned as chair of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Board of Directors in June after a probe found he failed to disclose a conflict of interest through his private consulting business.
The D.C. Council voted in July to remove Evans from the post of finance committee chair and investigate potential connections between Evans’ private clients and city business. Evans is also the subject of a federal criminal investigation, which prompted federal agents to search Evans’ home in June to confiscate electronic devices and documents.