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OFFICE OF VINCENT C.

GRAY
CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Takiyah “T.N.” Tate


November 7, 2019 ttate@dccouncil.us ● 202.741.0919

Councilmember Vincent C. Gray’s Statement Regarding Ongoing


Investigation into the Conduct of Councilmember Jack Evans
Following the release of the O'Melveny & Myers LLP report, Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent C.
Gray issued the following statement:

“I have profound concerns about the conduct of Councilmember Evans, following the release of
the O'Melveny & Myers LLP report. I encourage Councilmember Evans to consider what is best
for the residents of Ward 2, his family and himself.

At present, nine of my colleagues have called for Councilmember Evans to resign from the
Council. However, I will not be calling for Councilmember Evans' resignation at this time. I firmly
believe in due process and can appreciate better than most what it feels like to not be afforded that.

This Council established an ad hoc committee for the purposes of considering evidence of a
violation of the Code of Conduct, policy, or law by Councilmember Evans, and to determine
whether additional sanctions of reprimand, censure, or expulsion are warranted based on the facts
presented to this committee. This ad hoc committee has just started its work, so it concerns me
that nine of the twelve members of the Committee have weighed in publicly before we even had
our first substantive meeting since receiving the report produced by O'Melveny & Myers LLP, and
a report by Winston & Strawn on behalf of Councilmember Evans. Regardless of how we feel
about the findings in the O’Melveny report, other developments and news report that preceded it,
our duty is to ensure a fair process. That may require more time and a degree of patience with
which some people may be uncomfortable, but we have an obligation to the law and the D.C.
Council as an institution.

Council member Evans' twelve Council colleagues are acting as a de facto jury who have the power
to determine his fate on the Council. I can't imagine a situation in which jurists publicly express
their personal opinions about a defendant during an active case. I view this as a solemn duty, and
I want to reach my conclusions based on the Council rules after hearing all facts, relevant law, and
evidence.
I have asked former Attorney General Irv Nathan to advise me throughout this process, which he
has graciously agreed to do.

Calls for Councilmember Evans' resignation have also resulted in significant confusion, because
many have equated a Councilmember's call for Evans to resign as being identical to one vote of
eleven in favor of expulsion. However, the two are different. A call to resign is personal advice.
A vote to expel Mr. Evans is based upon the standards set in the Council Rules.

I want to be fully informed by the ad hoc committee process about all legislative history that is
associated with the Council Rules’ standards for expulsion and censure. For instance, Council
Rule 656 involving "expulsion" is distinguishable from "censure" under Rule 655, because while
censure includes violations of "policy", expulsion is limited to "cases in which the Council
determines that the violation of law is of the most serious nature, including those violations that
substantially threaten the public trust." In this instance, I would like further clarification regarding
whether the Council, itself, is determining that the law was violated or whether the Council is
merely assessing the severity of a criminal conviction of one of its members.

I do not believe it is appropriate to be publicly weighing in with personal conclusions about an


ongoing disciplinary process for which we need to examine the facts on a fair and impartial basis.
I believe everyone should be afforded due process, and this very serious and difficult undertaking
by this Council needs to conclude with a fair and just result for Councilmember Evans, which will
preserve and restore the public trust in the institution of the Council of the District of Columbia.”

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