Turns out the conflict of interest that Councilmember Jack Evans (Ward 2) had with regards to the convention center development was with ING Clarion Real Estate Investment. Evans’ firm, Patton Boggs, represented ING, an equity partner in the hotel deal.
Evans is phenomenally myopic. This is from The Washington Post:
Evans confirmed today that Patton Boggs represented ING at the time. He said that he does not consider that to be an actual conflict of interest because ING has no direct business relationship with the city on the deal, only with the developers.
Huh? John Hanrahan, a former reporter-turned-activist, explains the problem:
What is troubling to activist John Hanrahan is not only that Evans declined to detail the reasons for his recusal for so long — he told Washington City Paper last week that he did not want to respond to Hanrahan directly, calling him a “]expletive] idiot” — but that Evans continued to shepherd the deal to fruition after the council votes, working with then-Attorney General Peter J. Nickles to clear up a legal dispute involving Marriott that threatened to delay or even scuttle the hotel project. Evans’s involvement, he argues, indirectly benefitted ING’s investment in the project.
“Jack Evans unrecused himself and … helped put this deal back on track,” said Hanrahan.
But it gets worse. Evans told Post reporter Mike DeBonis that he didn’t say anything about ING when asked about a conflict of interest last week because everyone was focused on a potential conflict they thought Evans had with Marriott.
Wow. So Evans thought he could just stay quiet about it and he would get away with it. What astounding arrogance.
Apparently Jack doesn’t think the rules apply to him. Yet another reason that it’s time for Jack Evans to go.