Ex-Metra chief's severance deal under scrutiny - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Ex-Metra chief's severance deal under scrutiny

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CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

A large severance package for the former CEO of the Chicago area's Metra commuter rail agency is drawing scrutiny from state lawmakers who are calling it wasteful.

Metra's board accepted Alex Clifford's resignation last week and approved $442,000 in severance. It also agreed to pay Clifford's legal fees, moving expenses and health insurance costs, which could push the buyout to more than $750,000.

State Reps. Jack Franks and David Harris released a joint statement Tuesday urging Metra not to pass along to taxpayers the extra costs of the buyout beyond Clifford's contracted salary of about $252,000.

Franks says the "wastefulness inherent in this decision is truly shocking."

Clifford had replaced longtime executive director Phil Pagano, who was accused of defrauding Metra out of about $475,000. Pagano committed suicide.

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