CTA Board Member Resigns Amid Double-Dipping Allegations

Quinn appointee Frank Zuccarelli leaves post

The scrutiny of the ethics behind Illinois' public transit operators has claimed another victim.

Chicago Transportation Authority board member Frank Zuccarelli resigned from his position in a letter to Gov. Pat Quinn, Crain's reported Tuesday.

Zuccarelli, a Quinn appointee, was accused of double-dipping because he was receiving $128,000 a year as supervisor of Thornton Township along with $25,000 from the CTA.

Zuccarelli was not breaking any state laws because township posts are exempted, but he was facing criticism from gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley.

"Frank Zuccarelli had little choice but to do the honorable thing by resigning today," Daley said after news of Zuccarelli's resignation was made public. "It's unfortunate that Governor Quinn put him in this position in the first place."

In his resignation letter, Zuccarelli referred to the controversy as "political grandstanding," and said he didn't want to "distract from the critical issues or stand in the way of what people in the south suburbs need."

Quinn defended his appointment of Zucarelli, telling NBC 5 that the important thing is to have the south suburbs covered with a "strong voice on transit."

When asked about Zucarelli resigning under pressure from Daley, Quinn would not even say his opponent's name.

"That person you just mentioned has done nothing for the south suburbs," Quinn said.

Metra's board has lost several members this year, sparked by the firing of executive director Alex Clifford, and followed by the resignations of Larry Huggins, Chairman Brad O’Halloran, Paul Darley and Mike McCoy.

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