Transit Flash: Blagojevich Names Former Advisor To CTA Board

Sheila Nix Served As Deputy Governor For 2 Years

Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday took the first step toward his promise to shake up the Chicago Transit Authority by dumping one board member in favor of a former top gubernatorial aide, Crain's Chicago Business reported.

Out is Chicago attorney Nicholas Zagotta, whose seven-year term had expired. In is Sheila Nix, who as Blagojevich’s deputy governor and chief policy adviser helped develop the seniors-ride-free program that has set off sparks between the governor and Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Nix, a 46-year-old Oak Park resident, left the Blagojevich administration in June, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family.

Nix served as deputy governor from December 2006 to June 2008.

Before working for the state, Nix served as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida from 2000 to 2003. From 1992 to 1999, she served in U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey’s administration as chief of staff and legislative director.

She worked on Kerrey’s presidential campaign in 1991 and 1992, and was policy director and chief of staff in Blair Hull’s Democratic primary campaign against Barack Obama in 2004.

Nix earned her bachelopr's degree from Creighton University and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. She also spent three years as a CPA.

The governor appoints three of the seven Chicago Transit Board members. The appointees are subject to the approval of Mayor Daley and the State Senate.

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