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State House committee expresses concern about former Metra CEO’s severance package

Thursday’s House committee meeting about the separation package given to former Metra CEO Alex Clifford was nothing like the quiet, sedate affair conducted by the RTA board the day before.

Members of the Illinois House of Representatives mass transportation committee made their displeasure with the severance agreement apparent from the start of the meeting and grilled Metra’s lawyer and board chairman about it. Clifford received a severance package that could be worth $718,000 after he resigned in June when it was apparent that he would not receive a new contract.

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Brad O’Halloran, chairman of the Metra Board of Directors, said on Wednesday that the transit agency faced either providing former Executive Director Alex Clifford a severance package worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or defending a lawsuit that might “take years, [and] cost millions in attorney’s fees and time on the part of our employees.”

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