Metra: Trouble on the tracks

Metra: Trouble on the tracks

Read ongoing Tribune reports on the political fallout from the ousting of Metra CEO Alex Clifford.

Another Metra board member asked to quit

August 15, 2013

Another Metra board member asked to quit

Metra board member Stanley Rakestraw has been asked to resign, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's office said late Wednesday, following inquiries by the Tribune about Rakestraw's eligibility and residency.

Metra chairman resigns in wake of patronage allegations

7:00 AM CDT, August 2, 2013

Metra chairman resigns

Embattled Metra Chairman Brad O'Halloran has resigned his post, becoming the third board member to quit amid allegations of political back-scratching at the commuter rail agency.

Light shed on Rush's role in Metra scandal

August 2, 2013

Light shed on Rush's role in Metra scandal

After pressuring a Metra contractor to hire more African-American companies for a crucial South Side rail project, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush recommended that the commuter rail agency pay $50,000 to a little-known Washington, D.C., group to monitor minority participation.

 2nd Metra board member resigns

9:13 PM CDT, July 30, 2013

2nd Metra board member resigns

A second Metra board member has resigned in the wake of the controversy over the $718,000 severance package awarded to the agency's ousted CEO and the furor over patronage allegations involving House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Metra CEO memo alleges more Madigan influences

6:16 AM CDT, July 13, 2013

Metra CEO memo alleges more Madigan influences

Former Metra CEO Alex Clifford contends his refusal to capitulate to House Speaker Michael Madigan's patronage demands angered some agency board members and ultimately led to his downfall, according to a memorandum obtained by the Tribune.

Memo by former Metra CEO alleges proliferation of patronage requests

12:28 PM CDT, July 13, 2013

Memo by former Metra CEO alleges proliferation of patronage requests

When Metra CEO Alex Clifford asked about his chances for keeping his job, he received a bruising reply from the rail agency's board chairman, according to a memo that offers a snapshot of political clout as allegedly practiced in Illinois.

July 12, 2013

Madigan accused of Metra patronage push

A state legislative hearing investigating the severance package for Metra's ousted CEO yielded new details about the controversial deal Thursday, including the revelation that powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan had asked the agency to give one of his political foot soldiers a raise.

Ex-Metra CEO accused board members of pressing him to hire pals

7:27 AM CDT, July 11, 2013

Ex-Metra CEO accused board members of pressing him to hire pals

Ousted Metra CEO Alex Clifford implicated at least two board members in a patronage complaint shortly before he began negotiating a generous severance package with the commuter rail system, officials publicly acknowledged for the first time Wednesday.

9:23 PM CDT, July 9, 2013

Metra's chairman takes aim at ousted agency CEO

Metra's chairman, under fire for giving a cushy severance package to the agency's top executive, on Tuesday criticized Alex Clifford's leadership and said the ousted CEO only leveled corruption allegations after learning his contract might not be renewed.

Lawmakers to look at $740K severance for former Metra CEO

July 4, 2013

Lawmakers to look at $740K severance for former Metra CEO

State lawmakers who are demanding that Metra officials explain a $740,000 severance deal for the agency's former CEO and the secrecy cloaking the reasons for his departure have scheduled a hearing on the matter for next week.

RTA calls meeting on Metra boss' exit deal

July 3, 2013

RTA calls meeting on Metra boss' exit deal

The Regional Transportation Authority will have the first shot next week at breaking the secrecy concerning Metra's decision to grant its departed CEO a controversial $740,000 severance deal.

Metra CEO's severance deal shrouded in secrecy

9:11 PM CDT, June 24, 2013

Metra CEO's severance deal shrouded in secrecy

The severance agreement negotiated between Metra and former CEO Alex Clifford, paying him as much as $740,000 to leave the agency before the end of his contract, pledges both sides to secrecy.

June 30, 2013

Who's who on Metra's board

One is a labor lawyer. Another heads a company that sells firefighting equipment. One runs a construction company.

CEO severance controversy puts Metra board in harsh spotlight

6:22 PM CDT, June 29, 2013

CEO severance controversy puts Metra board in harsh spotlight

The controversy over Metra's approval of a $740,000 severance package for its ousted CEO has cast a harsh spotlight on the commuter rail agency's little-known board of directors.

June 26, 2013

Legislators slam Metra CEO's exit deal, secrecy

Two state representatives are pressing Metra's board to explain why it approved a severance agreement that could pay the commuter rail agency's departed CEO as much as $740,000.

Next stop for Metra: A pro or a politician to run agency?

June 23, 2013

Next stop for Metra: A pro or a politician to run agency?

Metra's board spent about 10 months screening 40 candidates during a nationwide search before selecting Los Angeles native Alex Clifford to be the commuter rail agency's CEO in February 2011.

It's end of the line for Metra CEO

11:56 AM CDT, June 22, 2013

It's end of the line for Metra CEO

Metra CEO Alex Clifford, the former Marine brought in to clean up the agency after the scandal and suicide of former boss Phil Pagano, resigned Friday, leaving with a potential $740,000 payout after protracted buyout negotiations with the commuter rail agency’s board.

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