The 35-year-old schoolteacher and newly elected member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, Derrick Evans has resigned before serving a single day in office after allegedly being among the rioters who stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday.
Evans submitted his resignation to Governor Jim Justice Saturday in a one sentence letter: “I hereby resign as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, effectively immediately.”
On the same day, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw released the following statement:
“This has been a sad week in our nation’s history, and it’s been heartbreaking as an American to process what we saw occur at our Capitol,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “An angry mob stormed the halls of Congress, disrupted a constitutional proceeding essential to the peaceful transfer of power, and caused the death of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.
“I am deeply troubled by the number of Americans who chose to resort to violence this week as a means to oppose the current political situation in our country,” Speaker Hanshaw said. “No matter how great our political differences, the peaceful transfer of power from one party to another has been the hallmark of the American political system since its inception. We must never allow that to deteriorate into violence.
“Delegate Evans was unfortunately a part of the events this week that threatened what has historically made America a beacon for the rest of the world: the peaceful transfer of power. Earlier today, Delegate Evans made the decision to resign from his position in the West Virginia House of Delegates. Now, we return to the work of rebuilding our nation’s political climate.
“In announcing his resignation, Delegate Evans said he accepted responsibility for his actions and apologized to those he’s hurt. In this time of overheated, hyperbolic political rage, I think that’s a good first step for us all to take right now.
“America didn’t get to this point overnight; what happened this week was the culmination of a toxic political culture that’s been building for years. I believe this is a moment for political leaders – on both sides of the aisle – to re-examine ourselves, take a hard look at how we’ve contributed to this culture, and vow to do and be better to achieve Abraham Lincoln’s dream of ‘malice toward none, charity for all’ to once again achieve a just and lasting peace among ourselves.
“It’s time to turn the page; it’s time for us to move on; it’s time for us to heal. We have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us, from dealing with a rampaging pandemic, healing an economy wounded by shutdowns, helping those whose livelihoods have been destroyed, getting our kids back into classrooms and giving them a quality education, finding new ways to open up job opportunities and investment in our state, and continuing our work to truly make West Virginia the best place to live, work and raise a family. And the Legislature only gets 60 days to accomplish this.
“I hope we can now come together and move forward to begin this important work without any further distraction.”