A lawyer for Evans had challenged more than 2,000 signatures on the recall petitions, saying they were forged or otherwise improper.
Adam Eidinger, a local activist who led the recall effort, said he disagreed with the board’s decision and would review its conclusion. If dissatisfied, he could file an appeal in D.C. Superior Court.
The recall effort may have been rendered moot Tuesday, after the rest of the D.C. Council unanimously agreed to recommend that he be expelled from the council. The 12-to-0 vote marked the first time in city history that lawmakers have moved to eject one of their own.
The action came in response to investigations that found that Evans used his public office to benefit private clients and employers who paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Evans, the city’s longest-serving lawmaker, has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime.
Barring any lawmakers changing their minds, Evans is set to be formally removed from the body in coming weeks. Eidinger said this week that he could continue the recall efforts in the event that the council did not follow through on expulsion.
Evans called The Washington Post Thursday to comment on the recall, but declined to answer questions about the vote to recommend expelling him.
“Adam is one of the best signature gatherers around. He and his organization worked very hard for six months, and at the end they were unable to get the necessary signatures,” Evans said, reading from a statement. “One can conclude the voters in Ward 2 do not want me to leave office and others should take note of that.”
Evans has been the target of a federal investigation into the nexus between his public office and his private business dealings. FBI agents searched his Georgetown home in June. The Washington Post reported that Evans repeatedly used his government email to solicit business from law firms that had lobbied the city government, offering to use his influence and connections to help their clients.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, for which Evans had served as board chairman, hired an outside law firm to investigate his tenure and this summer determined that Evans had violated that agency’s ethics code. He later stepped down from the board.
After the Metro investigation and FBI search, D.C. Council members reprimanded Evans and removed him as chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue.
In July, the council launched its own investigation, hiring a law firm to examine Evans’s activities during the past five years. The results of that probe, released in November, documented at least 11 instances since 2014 in which Evans used his office to help secret clients who paid him upward of $800 an hour for a total of about $400,000.