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Metra's CEO quits, gets big buyout

CHICAGO – The CEO of Metra has resigned and is set to get a more than $442,000 buyout.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Alex Clifford stepped down Friday during a board meeting. A separation agreement from the commuter rail system says he's leaving the post immediately.

Metra Chairman Brad O'Halloran said Clifford was departing because of a "difference in opinion" on the direction of the rail network.

Clifford joined Metra from a California transit agency three years ago. His contract was set to expire this coming February.

He replaced long-time executive director Phil Pagano, who committed suicide.

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Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://www.suntimes.com/index

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