BRADENTON, Fla. — The Georgia Department of Transportation announced Thursday that long-time agency member and former treasurer Earl Mahfuz had retired.

Most recently, Mahfuz ramped up the state’s new public-private partnership program as its director and launched its first P3 concession process.

Mahfuz’s retirement was anticipated and the state transportation board will address the process for selection of his replacement in the near future, said GDOT spokesman David Spear.

About a month ago, GDOT began the process of seeking qualified applicants interested in a concession contract for two major metro Atlanta interstate highway projects estimated to cost more than $2 billion. Qualifications are due by May 3.

Though the retirement announcement came as a surprise to some, Spear said Mahfuz had 34 years of service with the state and would have lost retirement benefits if he stayed longer.

Last year, when Mahfuz was treasurer of GDOT, the state office of the inspector general alleged that Mahfuz abused his authority when he instructed staff to stop entering contracts into the agency’s books “to hide the true state” of GDOT’s finances. Mahfuz denied giving those orders.

The state attorney general’s office last fall requested that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation probe GDOT’s financial practices, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. No determination had been made as of Thursday if the GBI would pursue charges against anyone, the paper said.

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