WASHINGTON — Two lawyers from the D.C. law firm O'Melveny sat directly across from D.C. Councilmembers Tuesday, explaining for hours, how they pieced together a 97-page ethics investigation report on Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans.
Lead attorney Steve Bunnell says a team of eight lawyers and two paralegals collected over 240,000 documents, interviewed 16 witnesses and interviewed Jack Evans four times.
"Whether you are willfully violating say the conflict of interest provision, or you just don't pay attention to it. It's an ethical violation either way," Bunnell said.
Lawyers Steve Bunnell and David Leviss are in private practice now but have decades of experience litigating Congressmen and trying fraud and ethics cases at the Department of Justice. The firm found that Evans engaged in 11 ethical violations since 2014.
The report accused Evans of trying to influence a Pepco-Exelon merger and running his consulting business, NSE, out of his government office.
D.C. Councilmembers also asked the lawyers about Evans's lengthy response that denied the findings. The long-serving councilmember says any errors were not intentional, instead of a misunderstanding of the rules.
"We didn't try to get in Mr. Evans head, I do think that their letters to us, say surely this is not a violation. And they put it in italics and they do it three or four times. That's not a substitute for explaining why it is not a violation and citing the code. They are saying is not, and we're saying read the code and it sure looks like it is," Bunnell said.
Councilmember Charles Allen expressed today he was unhappy that Evans' interview was not done under oath, as they consider punitive measures including censure and expelling Evans from the council.
While D.C. City Council continues to discuss what to do about Jack Evans, Monday a recall petition was submitted to the D.C. board of elections. If approved, Evans's fate will be in the hands of the hands of the people he serves.