The back-and-forth between a DC Metro official and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan over the funding of the struggling subway system took another turn during a Tuesday morning radio interview.
Hogan, during an interview on WMAL in Washington, criticized Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans for saying Hogan was intentionally failing to financially support the system and accused the Republican first-term governor of having political motivations.
“I think Jack must have been drinking heavy that day, maybe smoking something,” Hogan said during the Mornings on the Mall show. “It was the complete opposite of the truth.”
Douglass Mayer, a Hogan spokesman, said the governor “was clearly having a little fun and being sarcastic.”
“However, Mr. Evans’ comments were so out of line and off-base, that it isn’t hard to imagine someone thinking he must of been under the influence when he made them,” Mayer said.
A spokesman for Evans was not immediately available.
Evans drew the ire of the governor after Evans told the same radio station that Hogan was indifferent to the needs of the system.
Evans is asking Maryland and Virginia to provide additional subsidies to prevent service cuts and rate increases as the system struggles with ongoing maintenance and service issues.
Evans told the station he believes Hogan’s stance on the system is essentially political retribution because Prince George’s and Montgomery counties didn’t support the governor in the 2014 election.
“It leads me to conclude that the governor’s office doesn’t really care about Metro,” Evans told the station. “Those two counties didn’t support him … so I suspect that if I were sitting in the governor’s office in Maryland, that would be part of my calculus.”
Earlier in the week a Hogan spokeswoman suggested Evans should be replaced. Hogan, speaking on Tuesday, said Maryland provides more than $400 million annually to the system and seeks to hold it accountable for its service and maintenance problems before providing additional money.
“He was just so wrong,” Hogan said.