WBEZ | Alex Clifford http://www.wbez.org/tags/alex-clifford Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Metra’s pick to investigate wrongdoing claims pulls out http://www.wbez.org/news/metra%E2%80%99s-pick-investigate-wrongdoing-claims-pulls-out-108135 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Metra Meeting_130722_yp.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Metra officials were supposed to meet Monday to discuss the hiring of former U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins. He was to look into patronage allegations brought by ex-CEO Alex Clifford. At a Regional Transit Authority meeting last week, Clifford said he was forced out for not bowing to political pressure from House Speaker Michael Madigan.</p><p>Clifford alleged that two Metra board members in particular, Chairman Brad O&rsquo;Halloran and Larry Huggins, pressured him to approve a request by Madigan to giving a pay raise to a Metra employee and acquaintance of Madigan. At last week&rsquo;s hearing, both O&rsquo;Halloran and Huggins denied the accusations.</p><p>Last week, O&rsquo;Halloran named Collins to head an investigation into allegations against the rail service. But late Sunday, the law firm of Perkins Coie notified Metra of a &ldquo;potential conflict&rdquo; and that Collins could not take the case.</p><p>&ldquo;The board expressed their disappointment. And Chairman O&rsquo;Halloran expressed his disappointment that Mr. Collins cannot undertake this endeavor,&rdquo; says Metra spokesperson Michael Gillis. &ldquo;But he remains committed to interviewing other lawyers with outstanding reputations and investigative skills.&rdquo;</p><p>A written statement from Metra does not say what the conflict is. Gillis says he can&rsquo;t say whether a new investigator would be in place before Metra&rsquo;s next scheduled board meeting on August 16th.</p><p>Gillis says O&rsquo;Halloran will look for an alternative to Mr. Collins.</p><p>Clifford resigned in June and was given a severance package totaling more than $700,000. When asked at the RTA meeting about the large amount, Clifford said it was compensation to alleged damages to his reputation and the possibility of not finding another CEO job. Metra attorney Joseph Gagliardo said the money was to put off a protracted legal battle had Clifford stayed with Metra. Both sides say it was not hush money.</p><p><em>Yolanda Perdomo is a WBEZ host and producer. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/oyousef">@yolandanews</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/metra%E2%80%99s-pick-investigate-wrongdoing-claims-pulls-out-108135 Metra appoints new CEO http://www.wbez.org/story/alex-clifford/metra-appoints-new-ceo <p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--></p><p style="" class="MsoNormal"><i style=""><i>A correction has been made to this story.</i><br /></i></p> <p style="" class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p>Alex Clifford has been named the new CEO of Metra.</p> <div>The board voted unanimously Tuesday to make the appointment. Clifton has executive experience at other transit agencies and has served on commuter rail boards in Southern California.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Clifford says his main goal is to restore public confidence in Metra.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&rdquo;We&rsquo;re investigating all levels of this business, we&rsquo;re looking at all of our controls, our checks and balances, our systems and processes, our policies procedures,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And we&rsquo;re going to make the appropriate changes to restore both the public and legislature&rsquo;s confidence in Metra.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Clifford replaces the late Phil Pagano. Pagano committed suicide after improperly taking tens of thousands of dollars from the transit agency.&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--><i style=""><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Garamond;">Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Metra's new CEO's name as Clifton. It is Clifford.<br /></span></i></p></p> Tue, 01 Feb 2011 21:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/alex-clifford/metra-appoints-new-ceo