In the wake of an ethics scandal that resulted in the resignation of Jack Evans, Washington, D.C.’s Metro elected Paul Smedberg as its new chairman of the Board of Directors.
“It’s truly an honor to have been elected to this position,” Smedberg said in response to the decision. And he promised to “improve transparency, accountability and fairness to all parties.”
Evans quit from his post on Thursday, following an FBI raid on his home last week. The raid was in relation to the claims that Evans abused his position as D.C. councilmember and chair of the board of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for the interests of a parking company that paid him $50,000 per year.
“Notwithstanding the recent events, I feel it’s appropriate to recognize the former chair for his four years of work on behalf of WMATA,” Smedberg was quoted as saying during the board meeting on Thursday.
“Jack did do a lot to push the idea of dedicated funding forward, and he advocated strongly for the riders, and so we wanted to recognize that,” Smedberg also said.
— Mark Segraves (@SegravesNBC4) June 27, 2019
Smedberg was previously a councilmember in Alexandria, Virginia, from 2003 to 2018. He has served on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) since 2006 and was the chairman of the commission in 2014 and 2018. He joined the WMATA board in 2016 as an Alternate Director representing Alexandria, also became a Principal Director representing the Commonwealth of Virginia in January.
According to him, among the main areas that require change are Metro Board ethics rule reforms and the renewal of special annual federal capital funding for Metro.
After last week’s FBI raid on Evans’ home, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) had announced that he was launching an internal investigation into Evans’ ethical violations and planning to strip the politician of his position as the Council’s Finance Committee chair.