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State highway director flagged for offensive comments
Blackwood completed behavioral courses after complaints filed by staff
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Sexually inappropriate comments made by the director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety prompted a workplace investigation last spring that just recently became public.

Harris Blackwood, a former Times reporter and Gainesville native who was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to head the GOHS, was required to complete a behavioral training course after the investigation found he had made several offensive comments, all sexual in nature, to his staff and employees.

The investigation came to light in the past several days.

“First of all, it was never my intention to offend anyone, especially a co-worker,” Blackwood told The Times this week.

Blackwood, a weekly Times columnist who has a reputation as a jokester, said his comments were meant in good humor. But several female employees were upset by the comments, according to an internal investigation that supports the complaints made against Blackwood.

Several of the employees who were tied to Blackwood’s reported comments have since been transferred or left to work in other state agencies.

“I have completed the training as required by the investigation,” Blackwood said. “I’ve moved on to do the job that Gov. Deal and the people of Georgia expect me to do.”

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