State

Madigan helped supporter get state job

SPRINGFIELD – The man who is featured in allegations of attempted political favoritism at Metra later got a state job with the help of powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

A spokeswoman says Patrick Ward began a $70,000 labor-relations job with the Illinois Department of Central Management Services in May. He was recommended for the job by Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, and received high marks from his former supervisor.

The 57-year-old Ward worked at Metra when Madigan recommended he get a raise last year. The commuter line's former chief — Alex Clifford — says he rejected the suggestion.

The Metra board and Clifford are under fire for a $718,000 severance agreement the ex-CEO got.

A spokesman has said Madigan did not act improperly and Ward's supervisor agreed with the recommendation for a raise.

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