Phil Pagano Commits Suicide

Metra Executive Director Phil Pagano and Metra's local attorney Joe Gottemoller address Crystal Lake officials in their quest to put a train station in Ridgefield.

A friend just called to ask if I had heard that Metra Executive Director Phil Pagano had been killed by a Metra train.

Now, I see the Chicago Tribune is reporting the story.

How very, very sad.

I wonder if the comment about his foibles that I did not post was true.

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Here is the statement from Metra:

April 30, 2010

This morning the Metra Board of Directors held an emergency meeting to discuss hiring outside legal counsel to initiate an inquiry into reports of potential irregularities allegedly involving Metra’s Executive Director Phil Pagano.

The Board of Directors ratified a contract to hire James G. Sotos and his law firm of Sotos & Associates to conduct an independent investigation. The investigation will center on, but not be limited to, the alleged unauthorized money paid to Mr. Pagano and whether policies and procedures were violated.

We cannot ignore Mr. Pagano’s distinguished 20 years of service and the accomplishments of Metra under his leadership, but the allegation is a very serious matter. Under legal advisement, we as a board have decided to put Mr. Pagano on paid administrative leave of absence during this investigation.

Bill Tupper, Deputy Executive Director-Operations, has been named acting Executive Director. Mr. Tupper joined Metra in 1982 and two years later was appointed to Assistant Chief Engineer. In 1990 Mr. Tupper was appointed Metra’s Chief Engineer, a position he held for sixteen years. In 2006 he was appointed Metra’s Chief Operations Officer and just last year Mr. Tupper was appointed Deputy Executive Director.

Mr. Tupper’s invaluable experience in both the operational and administrative areas of Metra ensures that Metra business will continue uninterrupted. Our 300,000 daily passengers will not notice a difference in our quality of service.

Because of today’s developments, the Board of Directors has initiated a top-to-bottom review of Metra’s financial policies and procedures, focusing on the compensation and benefits of all non-contract employees, including the Executive Director. The Board will form this committee at the next regular meeting on May 14.

Carole R. Doris

Chairman

Metra Board of Directors

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CBS is reporting the following:

“(James) Sotos said his preliminary investigation ‘raised the possibility of more serious misconduct, official misconduct and the possibility of violations of the public trust.’”


Comments

Phil Pagano Commits Suicide — 7 Comments

  1. As a a person who was familiar with Phil Pagano, I feel this is an absolutely horrible tragedy for his family and we should remember them in our prayers. The ‘tease’ on CBS about additional scandalous conduct on the part of Mr. Pagano, raises the specter of even more pain for his family.

  2. My prayers go out to the family and especially the Metra engineer who purportedly made eye contact with Pagano shortly before impact, but it must be remembered that he authored his own destiny. The guy literally “killed the goose that laid the golden egg” and, when caught, chose to take the coward’s way out. Clearly he thought little about others, including the engineer and his family, by choosing this coping mechanism.

  3. My heart breaks for the Pagano family. The Phil I knew loved his family with his whole heart. His actions have brought untold suffering to his wonderful wife and children. We need to to keep them in our thoughts and prayers as well as the train engineer and his family.

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