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Emanuel to appoint new member of Metra board

Published: Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 10:35 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday that he plans to appoint attorney and former independent alderman Martin Oberman to the troubled Metra Board of Directors.

"The Metra board needs a new chapter and a fresh start," Emanuel said in a news release, adding that Oberman has watched out for taxpayers in his more than 40 years in various public sector jobs.

The announcement comes more than a month after Emanuel announced that Larry Huggins would resign from the scandal-tarnished board. Several other board members, including chairman Brad O'Halloran, have resigned in recent weeks. The board has faced criticism in the wake of the $718,000 buyout of the commuter rail agency's former CEO Alex Clifford.

Oberman's appointment will be introduced to the Chicago City Council on Wednesday. Oberman's appointment would take effect immediately pending council approval.

"This critical public transit system desperately needs to overcome years of scandal and focus on its role as a key transportation link for the city and the region," Oberman said in the release.

Oberman has served in other Chicago mayoral administrations, including as Shoreline Protection commission chairman under the late Mayor Harold Washington.

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