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DC Democrat Took Stock From Friend’s Company, Pushed Legislation To Directly Benefit It

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Helen Lyons Contributor

WASHINGTON — One of D.C.’s Democratic city council members, who is also the chair of the board of directors for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), was reported to have received 200,000 shares of stock in a digital sign company shortly before pushing legislation that would directly benefit it.

In-depth analysis by The Washington Post found that Councilman Jack Evans of Ward 2 not only accepted stock from Digi Outdoor Media, but also used his position on both the council and the WMATA board of directors to repeatedly assist the company as it entered the D.C. market in 2016— the very same year Evans created the consulting firm that would later accept the 200,000 shares of stock.

Disclosure statements show Evans earned between $50,001 and $100,000 in additional income during just the first half of 2018 from this consulting firm. Evans said he returned the shares of stock in Digi, estimated to be worth around $100,000, as soon as they were received.

Digi’s founder Donald E. MacCord has a long history of financial dealings with Evans, including helping the councilman gather contributions for a Hillary Clinton campaign fundraiser held on Nantucket Island at the home of one of Evans’ Georgetown constituents. Evans was co-chair of Hillary Clinton for DC in both 2008 and 2016. (RELATED: Ticket Prices To See Bill And Hillary Clinton Speak Tank)

WASHINGTON – DECEMBER 21: District of Columbia Council Chairwoman Linda Cropp (C) speaks with Council member Harold Brazil (L) as Councilman Jack Evans (R) looks on as the council votes to clear the way for a baseball stadium financing agreement December 21, 2004. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON- Jason Binn, CEO Niche Media/Capitol File Magazine, Michele Seiver and Jack Evans at the White House Correspondents’ dinner after party hosted by Capitol File at Corcoran Gallery of Art on May 9, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Niche Media)

Other monetary dealings included MacCord donating money to Evans’ constituent services fund, a fund normally used to help with the general welfare of persons living within the ward. Though this money is often doled out in the form of financial assistance with unpaid utility bills or other emergencies, disclosure filings showed that Evans often used his constituent services fund to buy tickets to sporting events.

Apart from financial dealings, Evans also sought to secure a summer internship for his then 19-year-old son through his relationship with MacCord, according to emails obtained by The Washington Post. His son did not end up taking the internship because his interests were in art, not advertising, said Evans.

As chair of WMATA’s board of directors, Evans was able to help when MacCord needed overnight access to a closed Metro Station. One of his staffers emailed WMATA directly. (RELATED: Washington- DC Decriminalizes Stealing with Metro Fare Evasion Bill)

“For 20 years Jack Evans has been the gateway to every big business wanting to deal with DC gov, from Ted Lerner to Donald Trump to Leonsis to Marriott plus almost every local developer,” tweeted Jonathan O’Connell, who covers real estate for The Washington Post. “All of that may be viewed differently now.”

Evans sits on several of D.C. City Council’s committees, including the Committee on Government Operations, which “works to ensure accountability and wise use of taxpayer dollars across all the offices and agencies under its purview.”

WMATA told The Daily Caller they “decline to comment at this time,” and despite each D.C. city council member having a full-time staff of eight, including a dedicated director of communications, only three council members spoke to press. (RELATED: DC Metro Transit Police Arrest Fare Jumper Who Exposed Himself To Children)

None of the other elected members of the all-Democrat council commented on the report, with two declining and seven not responding to requests at all, according to The Washington Post. D.C.’s Mayor Muriel E. Bowser declined to comment through a spokeswoman.

Similar attempts for comment by The Daily Caller were also met with no response.