The latest developments in the Metra saga include House Speaker Michael Madigan inviting the Legislative Ethics Committee to fully vet his role, Metra's chairman calling for an independent investigation and the resignation of a Metra Board member.
A Metra chairman has called for a Monday special meeting to vote for an independent investigation on the controversial resignations of Metra’s former CEO.
Metra Chairman Brad O’Halloran called for the meeting to approve the hiring of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins to perform an independent investigation and make recommendations for addressing issues raised by former Executive Director Alex Clifford.
Clifford appeared at a Regional Transportation Authority board meeting to discuss an April 3 memo that detailed alleged improprieties by House Speaker Michael Madigan and other politicians, as well as the events leading up to his decision to leave the agency and the $718,000 in severance pay he received.
Clifford said he believed the generous severance pay was to compensate him for all the damage done to him by Metra and his ability to get another job. Clifford said he felt he was being "railroaded" in regards to his performance review.
In addition to investigating the Clifford allegations, Collins will also be asked to assess the agency’s hiring and contract policies and will need to report to the Metra board in a public session within 90 days, according to a release from Metra.
“Patrick Collins has an unquestioned reputation for integrity, honesty and fighting corruption,” O’Halloran said in a statement. “I look forward to an unflinching report which makes recommendations that help the agency restore confidence with riders, taxpayers and the communities we serve.”