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DC: Councilman may have used PAC improperly

The Washington Post reports: D.C. Council member Jack Evans has controlled the finances of a political action committee for the past 11 years, using it to make political contributions and reimburse himself thousands of dollars in entertainment and travel expenses while regulators believed that others were operating the fund.

Evans has written some checks, in 2004 and again this year, that bear the same account number as the PAC but display only his name and home address. Officials at the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance, who have begun an audit to determine whether the PAC's operations violated D.C. laws or regulations, said they did not realize that Evans was directing the PAC's expenditures or that he was using personalized checks.

Evans acknowledged in an interview that he has played a principal role in deciding how the PAC's money should be spent. Campaign finance records show that it has taken in $223,245 and spent $206,264 since summer 1993. ...

PACs are generally formed to help political candidates, parties and the causes they support. But a public official cannot use a PAC, as he would a campaign fund, to make expenditures that promote his candidacy.

Officials at the D.C. Campaign Finance Office said their audit will examine, among other issues, whether some of the reimbursements Evans received from the PAC were improper and should have been paid for instead by his campaign committee or his D.C. Council constituent-services fund. -- D.C.'s Evans Wielded Control Over Finances of PAC Account