Metra CEO Gets Big Bucks Following Resignation

Alex Clifford resigns over "difference in opinion" on rail system's direction

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    Staffers say ouster of Alex Clifford had been in the works for months. Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Friday, June 21, 2013)

    Metra CEO Alex Clifford resigned Friday with a significant buyout in an arrangement that had been in the works for months, a transit spokesman confirmed.

    Clifford, whose contract was scheduled to expire next February, will receive $442,237 in a buyout of the three-year deal. Additionally, he'll receive another $300,000 if he can't find a new job within the next 13 months. Clifford was making $252,500 a year.

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    "The board did say that they had worked this out with Mr. Clifford and his attorneys, the settlement agreement they worked out with him," said Metra spokesman Michael Gillis. 

    Metra Chairman Brad O’Halloran told the Chicago Sun-Times a "difference in opinion" on Metra's direction led to the resignation.

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    Clifford joined Metra from a California transit agency three years ago. He replaced long-time executive director Phil Pagano, who committed suicide.

    Clifford's performance has been under review since April.