State DOT chairman Mike Evans resigned today over his budding relationship with DOT Commissioner Gena Abraham.
The following statement was made at today’s meeting of the State Transportation Board by Chairman Mike Evans in announcing his resignation:
“In the past five months, I have worked closely with Commissioner Abraham to work towards change within the Department. Over the course of those five months, I have grown to admire her and respect her more and more every day. Her sense of integrity and work ethic is well known throughout state government and I can see why. Over the last month or so we have grown to care for each other more than on a professional level, she became my friend. As our friendship developed, we realized that there was the possibility of something more than friendship. At this point we met with the Vice-Chairman, Garland Pinholster, to discuss and determine the best direction and concluded that it was best to also inform the Board, which was done in Executive Session yesterday.
“DOT Policy does not permit relationships other than professional or friendship within the direct chain of command. As Chairman of this Board, I strongly believe that I should be the model for respect and adherence to policy that I wish to see in all GDOT employees, especially with the challenges that we face. In doing so, I must therefore tender my resignation today as Chairman and a member of the Georgia Department of Transportation Board.
“I have served as a member of this Board for five years and it has been my honor and privilege to do so as a representative for District 9. My heart is heavy today because I know that in tendering my resignation, I am also disappointing a great number of people who have supported me throughout the years, in particular, during my re-election to the Board this year. There are those who suffered great losses in support of me. I will be eternally grateful for their support. I will spend the rest of my days trying to restore their trust and in gaining their forgiveness for having stepped down at this point in my term.
“I want to thank my colleagues on the Board who have been a support to me as well. As I leave my seat and return to my daily routine, I will still remain an advocate for systemic reform for Transportation in Georgia. It is still a worthwhile and noble cause that I will always believe in.
“To the employees of the department, I have said how great they are and what dedicated public servants they are. I hope the board and senior staff will honor their service by doing everything they can to give them the department they deserve.
“To the board, I hope you will continue the momentum and change that I have been pushing for the last five years, and that has accelerated over the last five months.
“To the cities, counties and individuals whose dedicated support helped me win re-election I apologize for my untimely departure and will never forget their loyal support.
“As always, I am honored to serve the people of the 9th District and the state of Georgia.
“Again, I thank everyone for the opportunity to serve.”
At this time, there will be no further comment from the Department on this matter.