Oversight body will review Metra CEO severance

CHICAGO (AP) — An agency that oversees transit operations in northeastern Illinois says it is reviewing a lucrative severance package offered to the former director of the Metra commuter rail agency.

The buyout for Alex Clifford, who resigned last week, could total $750,000 and has drawn scrutiny from state lawmakers and others questioning the cost to taxpayers.

The Regional Transportation Authority is responsible for financial oversight of Metra and other Chicago-area transit networks.

Its chairman, John Gates, Jr., says he has directed his staff to immediately begin a detailed review to determine if the severance deal is "financially prudent."

He said in a statement Tuesday that his agency had a responsibility to ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent properly.