Metra’s Executive Director Phil Pagano of Crystal Lake Under Investigation for Possible Unauthorized $56,000 Payment

That’s what Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting online.

Phil Pagano lives in Covered Bridge Trails, which is located north of Hillside Road in rural Crystal Lake.

At a salary of $269,625, I can’t imagine any public official/servant living in McHenry County earning more.

Metra Chairwoman Chairwoman Carole Doris confirming what Crain’s Greg Hinz is reporting with the following statement, issue in mid-afternoon:

“I have called an emergency board meeting for Friday to discuss hiring outside legal counsel to complete an inquiry into reports of potential financial irregularities allegedly involving Metra’s Executive Director.”After becoming aware of certain questions within the past few days, I conducted a preliminary reviews of the matter which convinced me that a thorough review by independent outside counsel is in order.

Metra Executive Director Phil Pagano addresses the McHenry County Board with RTA Executive Director Steve Schlickman looking on.

“We will not comment on media reports until the review is complete. But I can assure our riders, Illinois taxpayers, and our state and local government partners that the review will be completed expeditiously and that we will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the integrity and fiscal responsibility of Metra.”

Pagano was deeply involved in the purchase of the former Flowerwood property in Ridgefield for a commuter railroad station.

Prior to the August, 2009, announcement, Craig Steagall thought that his property on the other side of the tracks was the selection.

Pagano even met with him in his office.

Former State Senator Jack Schaffer serves as McHenry County’s representative on the Metra Board. He did not vote on the purchase of the former Flowerwood property. He was elected Treasurer of Metra last June.

Metra coming around the bend in Des Plaines

Former Crystal Lake Metra Board member Don Udsteun, the political brains behind several election victories of former Governor George Ryan, is said to have given the Feds a journal of many years when investigators called him on taking money for helping direct Metra contracts to former Republican State Rep. Roger Stanley (R-Streamwood).  Stanley subsequently developed a thriving mail house, which served Lee Daniels’ House Republican Campaign Committee.

Udstuen, whom both Schaffer and I knew from Young Republican days in the 1960’s and subsequently, settled and lived in Crystal Lake until after his court troubles.    Udstuen’s day job was being the Illinois State Medical Society’s top lobbyist, although his job title was being head of the ISMS’ medial malpractice insurance company.


Metra’s Executive Director Phil Pagano of Crystal Lake Under Investigation for Possible Unauthorized $56,000 Payment — 7 Comments

  1. I believe our Federal Attorney General is going to be busy investigating alot of people in our State. I have one question is he related to Rod?

  2. I don’t see the honorable, illustrious, King Ken Kohler’s name no where in this article?

  3. In the past, Pagano was never hesitant to point the finger or run to the press regarding the evildoings of an engineer without proof that any rule was ever violated. Metra was always prepared to shed itself of any blame or wrongdoing and hang a crewmember out to dry. I was personally removed from service on four separate occasions (with 35 years of seniority) during my last couple of years for supposed rules violations that never happened. Pagano’s attitude is that commuters arriving at a station to board their train are left behind not because they are late, but due to the fact that the train left early. What goes around comes around.

    W.A. Lloyd
    Retired Milwaukee West Line engineer

  4. William, there are more ‘coming around’s’ still to come for ‘some others’ in McHenry County!!! “Tic Tock!” goes the Federal Clock! You know who you are.

  5. Sadly, Pagano committed suicide this morning by walking in front of a Metra train.

  6. To the people: it is so regrettable this man died the way he did. I’m sure others feel same way. There are programs available for this loss of control, getting caught is what it is. No one wants to tell on anyone. Ok well…sometimes you cant help yourself and you need that swift kick.
    Reputations/legends greed puh. It is time for us to restore values that are real. Big business stop your….*%#@

    Treatment for all kinds off available. Stress/depression does our rational in. We no longer think clearly. Have someone make an anonymous meeting with that person to tell them. They have to face the music because it will get louder. Do you know someone, they need to be visited. We will all be better for it.

  7. Don Udstuen, there’s a name from the past. Didn’t he supposedly share some of his kickback money with the empty suit ISMS executive director who ended up keeping his job? Tells you lots about the integrity of the ISMS governing body if this is true. The corruption just never ends, and I have never seen as many marginal hangers on getting fatter and uglier. as I have in Illinois, while the hard working taxpayers who ask nothing from the state save being left alone continue to take it up the a–. It would actually be funny were it not so sad

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