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DOT board meeting is first since chairman’s departure

POSTED: May 25, 2008 5:01 a.m.

The State Transportation Board meets today for the first time since resolving the controversy over Department of Transportation Commissioner Gena Abraham and her relationship with former 9th District board member Mike Evans.

The board is meeting in Toccoa. Twice a year, the transportation board meets outside Atlanta. In 2007, the board met for two days in Gainesville.

The panel met on Wednesday as a committee of the whole and heard a report on project prioritization. In addition, a presentation on Toccoa and Stephens County was given by Bob Evans, interim director of the Stephens County Development Authority.

The agenda for today’s meetings, a breakfast session followed by the regular monthly meeting, includes a report from Abraham on pending legal issues.

At its April meeting, Evans informed his fellow board members that he and Abraham had begun a relationship that was becoming "more than friendship."

Evans resigned because DOT policy does not allow personal relationships within the direct chain of command. Evans, as chairman, was technically Abraham’s boss.

After a lengthy meeting the following week, the board voted to allow Abraham to remain in her position.

At the same time, it was revealed that Garland Pinholster, who was vice chairman under Evans, had been the subject of a workplace sexual harassment complaint. The DOT has refused to release the complaint.

Pinholster resigned as acting chairman, retaining his seat on the board.



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