DOT commissioner keeps job

ATLANTA -- Embattled Transportation Commissioner Gena Evans appeared likely to hold on to her job as the State Transportation Board took no action today following a lengthy closed-door session.

Evans' status was one of the main topics of discussion during a two-hour private meeting called to handle legal and personnel issues. The first female to lead the department has come under fire for alleged conflicts of interest and tawdry e-mails revealed in a series of media reports.

Board members largely declined to comment on the meeting beyond reiterating that the panel took no action. While the gathering was technically a committee meeting, only one board member didn't either attend the meeting or participate by phone.

Most of the allegations have centered on romantic relationships between Evans and coworkers or state contractors when she worked at the Georgia Building Authority and the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission.

"I think there was pretty much a consensus that those things happened a number of years ago (and) it wasn't under the jurisdiction of the DOT," said board Chairman Bill Kuhlke This is the second time in seven months that board members have decided to keep Evans despite questions about the intersection of her private relationships and public duties. In April, then-board Chairman Mike Evans resigned his post to pursue a romantic relationship with the commissioner, then Gena Abraham. The board voted to retain Gena Evans, and she and Mike Evans were married in September.

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