Quinn staying out of Metra, Madigan controversy

Jul 15, 2013

Governor Pat Quinn appears to be staying out of a controversy over House Speaker Mike Madigan's role in employment decisions at Metra, the suburban Chicago commuter rail agency.Madigan last week acknowledged suggesting a pay raise for a campaign donor who had a $57,000-a-year job at Metra.

Asked Monday whether there ought to be a wider investigation, Quinn pointed out that the Metra board is under the purview of the Executive Inspector General.

 "I understand -- from reading the paper -- he was at the hearing last week. Ricardo Meza is his name. I have confidence in him. I think the people can have confidence in him to get to the bottom of it and get to the truth."

 Quinn was also asked whether Madigan's troubles helped him politically, given that the speaker's daughter -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan -- is considering a run for governor. Quinn says he's "not interested in politics."

Metra's board has come under fire for paying ousted CEO Alex Clifford a severance deal worth $718,000. Clifford alleges he was forced out for refusing to play ball with state politicians.