CHICAGO
07/13/2013 11:45 am ET Updated Sep 12, 2013

Metra CEO Memo Alleges More Madigan Influences

AP

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.

The eight-page memo -- which the agency repeatedly had refused to release -- contains allegations far more damning than Metra officials have suggested in recent days and raises new questions about how the commuter rail service operates in clout-friendly Illinois.

The memorandum has been portrayed as the proverbial smoking gun amid multiple investigations into Clifford's ouster and the $718,000 severance package that accompanied it. At least one Metra board member has described the deal as "hush money" to prevent the allegations detailed in the memo from becoming public.

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