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Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 10:02am

DOT Doctored Books, State Auditor Says

Officials with the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) purposefully hid millions of dollars in construction contracts, according to the state auditor.

The report from the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts alleges that former DOT Treasurer Earl Mahfuz ordered members of his staff to stop recording contracts in June of last year to hide the agency's deficit.

The report found more than $320 million in contracts were never put on the books by the DOT.

Governor Perdue, who has long-feuded with the current DOT board, condemned what he called the agency's "Enron-like accounting."

"You can't make the decision we are going to hide contracts, we're going to mistate our financial position, all in an effort to build more projects," said Bert Brantley, the governor's spokesman.

Brantley said the DOT has no money left for new projects, except from the federal stimulus package.

Mahfuz has denied telling his staff to stop entering contacts. At least one current DOT board member is backing him.


Edgar Treiguts