Tryon Presses Call for Metra Mass Transit Committee Hearing

A press release from State Rep. Mike Tryon:

House Hearing Needed to Investigate Metra Allegations

Chicago, IL…House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) and State Representative Darlene Senger (R-Naperville) today are demanding an Illinois House Mass Transit Committee hearing into allegations of impropriety involving high level Chicago-area mass transit officials.

Mike Tryon

Mike Tryon

“As the Minority Spokesperson for the Mass Transit Committee, I have now made two formal requests for committee hearings so we can get to the bottom of these egregious allegations brought forth in the Alex Clifford memo,” said Tryon.

“While I have been told the Speaker has taken my request under advisement, we need to proceed in a swift and strategic manner so we can take appropriate action and restore public trust in our transit system.”

“Every day there seems to be a new revelation in the media about this unfolding scandal.

“The General Assembly appropriates hundreds of millions of dollars each year for mass transit – it is appropriate that the House Mass Transit Committee conduct hearings in a prompt manner when allegations are made about taxpayer dollars being abused,” said Cross.

“It’s time for a hearing.”

The representatives say the purpose behind the hearing would be to have Clifford explain the contents and allegations made in his April 2013 memorandum and reveal any conversations or communications he had with Metra board members or with legislators that could be perceived as in violation of State ethics laws or other related statutes.

The representatives would also be interested in hearing from Metra Chairman Brad O’Halloran to explain his role in an alleged “golden parachute” scheme and continuing to accept a municipal paycheck in violation of state law.

“These are all serious allegations that need to be investigated out in the open,” said Senger.

“It is disheartening to hear that attempts were allegedly made to divert money needed for operations, repairs and improvements to fund jobs and pay raises for politically connected employees. It has also been alleged that the $718,000 severance payment to ousted Metra CEO Clifford was an attempt to purchase his silence. The taxpayers deserve truthful answers.”

“The minority party members of the Mass Transit Committee are not willing to sweep this issue under the rug and we remain committed to bringing Alex Clifford in so we can gain a full understanding of the content of his memo to the Metra board and learn about any communications he had that could be perceived as violations to State ethics laws or other statutes,” Tryon concluded.

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