The Metra board Friday held an emergency meeting to select an independent investigator to take a look into reports that the agency's director last year gave himself an unauthorized bonus.
“It’s a sad day for Metra,” board chairwoman Carole Doris told the paper.
Pagano, who has run the agency for 20 years, is paid $269,625 to run the commuter rail service. But sources say he gave himself an extra $56,000 last year. Metra employees don't get bonuses, spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said.
The alleged bonus came as Metra was preparing to pass a 2010 budget that eventually included spending cuts, a staff pay freeze and some fare hikes.
Pagano has been placed on leave while the investigation takes place. But officials say he wasn't officially suspended.
Get Breaking SMS Alerts: Be the first to know when news breaks, and when weather changes dramatically.
News: Text CHIBREAKING to 622669
Weather: Text CHIWEATHER to 622669