The District’s ethics board has launched a preliminary investigation into Foggy Bottom representative and mayoral candidate Jack Evans for allegedly turning over a public alley to GW this summer in exchange for support in his campaign.
Evans introduced a bill to give away the alley – between H and I streets at the “superdorm” construction site – against the wishes of local representatives.
Jackson Carnes, a member of the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission questioned by the board last week, told the Associated Press that Evans wanted to hand GW the alley without demands for reimbursement so the University would support his mayoral bid. Carnes, a senior at GW, is endorsing and volunteering for one of Evans’ competitors, Council member Muriel Bowser.
Local leaders pushed the city to attach conditions to the closing of the alley, valued at $2.8 million, including a stipulation that GW would contribute $700,000 toward a second entrance for the Foggy Bottom metro station.
The D.C. Council’s code of conduct bars legislators from using their public office for private gain, but Evans shot down the accusation.
“What Jackson is alleging never happened. It’s honestly absurd,” Evans said in a phone interview Friday. “Maybe he misunderstood. I’ve only met with him two times in my life.”
Federal tax law bars GW, a nonprofit institution, from supporting political candidates, and University spokeswoman Candace Smith said in a statement to the AP that “GW strictly complies with this law and does not endorse political candidates or make contributions to political candidates.”