Ousted Metra CEO testifies before RTA Board

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Former Metra CEO Alex Clifford got his first opportunity to clear the air over the $700k plus payout he received in order to leave the agency today when he testified at Regional Transportation Authority meeting.

The ousted CEO was on the hot seat today but not sweating it out after he alleged he was let go when he didn’t succumb to political pressure by Illinois house speaker Mike Madigan among other things. Madigan, Clifford maintains,  wanted certain hires at the agency, even raises for some employees. Clifford said no and then was asked to leave, he says.

Now the RTA wants the truth after a scathing April memo written by the CEO went public with allegations about the possible patronage violations.

“I did not feel the law was broken,” Clifford said.

The chairman of Metra Brad O’Halloran also addressed the RTA board of directors.

The hearing went on for six solid hours and covered everything from patronage problems to no bid contracts.

The legislative inspector general Tom Homer vows to investigate.  He won’t say who or exactly what he is looking into. Nor will he say how long it will take to complete.

“We’re just in the preliminary stage of determining if any rules have been violated,” he said.

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