McMurry has declined to comment on the raise.
Board member Robert Brown Jr., who just finished a term as chairman, has said the raise is needed to ensure McMurry isn't lured away to another public- or private-sector job. Among other things, Brown cited the acclaim the commissioner received after GDOT was able to reopen an I-85 bridge in Atlanta just six weeks after a fire caused it to collapse.
President Donald Trump and U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao both praised McMurry's handling of the bridge reconstruction.
GDOT's own role in the fire also has come under scrutiny. For years, the agency stored fiber optic cable under the bridge that later went up in flames after a homeless man allegedly set the fire that destroyed the bridge. The material was stored under the bridge long before McMurry became commissioner in 2015.
McMurry joined GDOT in 1990 and rose through its ranks before the board appointed him to the department’s top job.
His latest raise makes him among the best-paid state employees in Georgia. But several university administrators and other state employees earn far more. McMurry also makes far more than the top transportation officials in several other states surveyed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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