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UPDATE | W.Va. House Minority leader and others calls on Delegate Evans to resign

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 3:18 PM EST
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UPDATE 1/7/21 @ 4:57 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - House Minority Leader Doug Skaff Jr. has sent a letter to Speaker Roger Hanshaw urging action regarding Delegate-elect Derrick Evans.

In the letter, Skaff says he is writing on behalf of the House of Delegates Minority Caucus to respectfully request Delegate Evans to be disqualified from serving as a member of the House of Delegates and request that he not be seated as a member of this body on Jan. 13, 2021. Skaff tells WSAZ that every member of the Democratic caucus has expressed that they no longer feel safe with Evans allowed in the chamber.

The letter states on Jan. 6, Delegate-elect Evans committed several illegal acts, clearly memorialized through his own Facebook broadcast, in an attempt to disrupt this constitutionally mandated process. Skaff says Evans’ actions disqualify him from holding public office in this state and make him ineligible to be seated as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw is currently conducing an investigation into Evans’ actions. A spokesperson says Evans can be punished in two ways under House of Delegates rules, censure and expulsion. Both would require a resolution to be considered by the entire House. It takes a two-thirds vote to expel a delegate and a simple majority for censure.

More than 35,000 people have signed a petition in support of removing Evans from office. The petition says Evans participated in terrorism and went against the Constitution and rule of law.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia Mike Stuart says his office is working to identify anyone who traveled from the region to Washington to participate in the riots and will hold them accountable for breaking the law. He would not confirm if Evans has been identified as part of the investigation.

“I want the facts to determine, as I’ve said earlier, and I’m not going to confirm or deny the investigation of any particular individual,” Stuart said. “We investigate crimes, not people, in this office, and I think it’s important for folks to appreciate that it’s crimes, not people, we investigate. What you don’t want is a U.S. attorney investigating people. It’s crimes we investigate. We’re going to let the facts play out. We’re going to work with the FBI, the Department of Justice in Washington. Let the facts determine what charges are appropriate for whatever individuals, and we’ll take it from there, but I can say this, that if federal laws were violated, if it affects the Southern District of West Virginia, if it’s within our authority, we’ll have no reservation whatsoever in bringing the appropriate charges swiftly and severely to make sure those folks responsible for the reprehensible violence in D.C. yesterday never happens again.”

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.

ORIGINAL STORY 1/7/21 @ 3:18 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia Senator-elect and former House of Delegates member Eric Nelson (R-Kanawha) has released the following statement regarding the participation of Delegate Derrick Evans in events that occurred at the United States Capitol on Wednesday.

“The actions of Delegate Evans were a disgrace not only to the office to which he was elected, but also to the people of his district and the entire state of West Virginia. He needs to offer a full and fair accounting to his constituents and the members of the West Virginia Legislature.

All public officials take an oath to defend the United States Constitution. There are consequences for failing to keep that oath. As members of the West Virginia Legislature, we have an obligation to conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of the office we hold and a reverence for the responsibility and public trust we have been given. Delegate Evans has wholly failed in those regards. As a former member of the House of Delegates, I hope Delegate Evans accepts responsibility for his actions and chooses to resign. Should he not do so, I urge the House to take disciplinary action against him, including expelling him from the body.”

W.Va. Delegate Derrick Evans, R- Wayne, was live on his Facebook page as he and others breached the U.S. Capitol building.

For our previous coverage, click here.

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