Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan may have pressured Metra board members into giving promotions to his hand-picked selections during meetings, a new report by former Legislative Inspector General Thomas Homer and published in the Chicago Tribune alleges.
Homer said in the report that Madigan used "timing and persistence" to pressure board members into executing his will on personnel decisions at the agency.
The report said that Madigan would make requests for personnel decisions like hiring and promotions near the end of scheduled meetings when officials would discuss funding and other legislative issues. It said Madigan created reciprocal expectations by discussing staffing during this portion of the meeting which was reserved to discuss matters of legislative oversight of the agency.
Among other instances, Homer says in the report that at least once Metra chairwoman Carole Doris left a meeting at Madigan's statehouse office with a post-it note with names of employees that Madigan tasked for promotion.
“(Madigan) should have realized, given his influential position, that by making the requests at the conclusion of meetings with Metra officials to discuss funding and other legislative issues, he would be creating reciprocal expectations,” Homer wrote.
“This unhealthy situation was exacerbated by the subsequent communications to Metra by the speaker or persons associated with him inquiring as to the state of the promotion requests when favorable action was not forthcoming,” Homer concluded. […]
The report, which was requested by Madigan to look into wrong doing, did not find anything illegal and does not suggest any discipline for Madigan.
“Speaker Madigan asked the Legislative Inspector General to investigate this matter. He cooperated fully with the investigation and provided all requested information. The Legislative Inspector General has found no violation of any law, including the Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act," Madigan spokesman Steve Brown told the Sun Times early Tuesday.