New DOT Commissioner Gena Abraham has found something else to clean up – phony bridge inspections.
ATLANTA – A bridge inspector in Gwinnett has admitted to falsifying 54 inspection reports since late last year.
Gena Abraham, director of the Georgia Department of Transportation, said the inspector and his partner no longer work for the department. There are an additional 68 bridge inspections that the department thinks may have been falsified, as well.
Each of those 122 bridges, plus an additional 278 bridges that David Simmons and Gerald Kelsey were due to inspect, will be reexamined by GDOT, Abraham said.
“We were very upset, needless to say,” Abraham said. “Thank goodness our quality control folks caught this.”
Abraham said the problems first came to the attention of State Bridge Inspection Engineer Kerry Wood in November, when Simmons took 100 hours of leave during a 160-hour period. Still, the team began to churn out as many as 18 inspections in a day.
Typically, inspectors can handle three inspections daily.
Instead of throwing a temper tantrum because he didn’t get his way, perhaps the Speaker should applaud the changes taking place at the DOT. Mike Evans had this to say:
“Employees here at DOT need to understand there’s a new sheriff in town, and she won’t accept or tolerate anything less than what they’re supposed to be doing,” Evans said. “We want to make this place the best it can be as quickly as we can.”