A former California transit executive tapped to clean up Chicago's scandal-tarnished Metra commuter rail agency says he was pushed out for doing exactly that and resisting pressure from Illinois politicians.
Alex Clifford was allowed to speak publicly for the first time Wednesday about his lucrative buyout agreement, which critics have called hush money and a waste of taxpayer funds.
Inquiries into the deal have led to revelations that House Speaker Michael Madigan asked Clifford's staffers to give a pay raise to a Metra employee who was a contributor to political campaigns benefiting Madigan.
Clifford told the Regional Transportation Authority Wednesday he believed Madigan's actions betrayed a "moral and ethical flaw.''
Madigan spokesman Steve Brown says the speaker was merely supporting a recommendation by the employee's supervisor and did nothing improper.