House Speaker Michael Madigan says his office asked senior staff at Metra to consider a pay raise for an associate of his who was employed at the commuter rail agency in northeastern Illinois.
Madigan addresses the matter in a one-page statement he prepared for lawmakers investigating a costly severance deal for Metra's former CEO Alex Clifford. Clifford resigned last month and has alleged he was pushed out for resisting political pressure in decisions about hiring and contracts.
The link to Madigan, one of Illinois' most powerful politicians, was an unexpected turn in hearings that are unearthing details of the eye-popping severance package for Clifford.
In Thursday's statement, Madigan says he withdrew his recommendation for a pay raise after learning that Clifford had expressed discomfort over it.