Clifford's Lawyer Says He'd Return to Metra

Metra leaders say they're considering rescinding Clifford's buyout package

Thursday, Aug 22, 2013  |  Updated 3:58 PM CDT
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A lawyer representing former Metra CEO Alex Clifford says his client would like to return to work at the embattled suburban Chicago transit agency.

Michael Shakman says Clifford would be willing to change his separation agreement with Metra — under certain circumstances — to come back to the post.

Metra leaders say they're considering rescinding Clifford's buyout package that's been valued at more than $718,000. It led to a series of resignations and investigations at the scandal-plagued agency.

Clifford claimed he was pushed out for resisting pressure on hiring and salary issues from politicians, including House Speaker Michael Madigan. A state inspector general and a legislative ethics panel are investigating. Since Clifford's departure in June, five Metra board members have resigned.

Metra's board was given its marching orders Wednesday by the Regional Transportation Authority after an audit determined that the severance given to Clifford was not financially prudent. The RTA ordered the Metra board to conduct a review.

RTA officials ordered Metra to review its insurance and other policies and report back in 30 days, along with implementing procedures to prevent it from happening in the future.

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