Government
6:30 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Report Questions Hiring Influences At Metra

Michael Madigan
Credit housedem.state.il.us

A special task force raises new questions about Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and his influence on hiring at Metra. The panel, which issued its report Monday, was created after a scandal involving political patronage at the commuter rail agency.

The report says in some cases - "Madigan did not recommend people to be hired — he in effect decided they were hired."

The task force says other politicians made job-related recommendations as well. Madigan's spokesman criticized the report for not specifying names and dates, suggesting that the Chicago Democrat held no influence over the agency.

In response to its findings, the panel suggests creating a firewall that would prevent elected officials from inserting themselves into hiring decisions.

Oversight

In addition to the hiring details, the panel's report recommends doing away with the Regional Transportation Authority, which oversees Metra, the CTA, and Pace. Officials say a new board should be created to handle the job, and that the three transit agencies should merge into a single entity.