Metro board principal director resigns amid Evans ethics controversy

Corbett Price resigned from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board of Directors amid growing criticism over his position on a Metro ethics probe committee, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Price was accused of making statements during the investigation about Ward 2 Councilmember and then-Metro board chairman Jack Evans’ private business dealings. He stepped down from the position in light of “medical and personal” complications, like an upcoming surgical procedure that will warrant an “extensive” rehabilitation period, according to Price’s resignation letter obtained by The Hatchet.

“This medical issue and a personal family matter, for which I must devote considerable attention, unfortunately conflicts with my responsibilities as a member of the WMATA Board,” Price wrote in the letter.

Price’s resignation comes two days after the Metro board ethics committee met privately to examine Price’s conduct during the Evans investigation, The Post reported. The committee did not take action but appeared prepared to do so, according to The Post.

A Metro board ethics committee found that Councilmember Evans violated Metro ethics codes when he failed to disclose a $50,000 consulting agreement with Colonial Parking while he held a personal relationship with the company’s CEO.

City leaders criticized Price, a member of the committee that investigated Evans, after he falsely stated that the committee did not find that Evans committed any violations, The Washington Post reported. Evans and Price came under fire for threatening the jobs of two Metro employees working on the probe in an attempt to keep the investigation’s findings under wraps.

D.C. councilmembers stripped Evans of his Committee on Finance and Revenue chairmanship and launched an investigation into his business dealings in July.

The same day, a Council resolution introduced by at-large Councilmember Elissa Silverman to remove Price from the Metro board failed by an 8–4 vote. Silverman said in a July statement that Price “knowingly misled” the press through his statements about the investigation.

“District residents deserve a WMATA voting member who always acts with integrity and fidelity in the best interests of the city,” Silverman said in the statement.

Evans is also the subject of a federal criminal investigation, which prompted federal agents to search his home in June. If he runs for re-election, Evans will face five challengers next year.

Mayor Muriel Bowser nominated Lucinda Babers, the deputy mayor for operations and infrastructure and the former director of the District Department of Motor Vehicles, to replace Price Saturday, The Post reported. Bowser, who originally appointed Price to the board in March 2015, said she is “grateful” for Price’s work on the board over the past four years.

“From his efforts to secure a fair dedicated funding agreement to his work to create structures that allow for greater efficiency, Corbett has played a critical role in building a more stable and financially sound WMATA – a system that is able to focus their attention on safety, reliability and capacity,” Bowser said in an email.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.