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Metra Chicago commuter rail service gets new CEO

Published: Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 8:20 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO – Metra's board of directors has picked a veteran railroader to lead the Chicago commuter rail agency.

Interim CEO Don Orseno, a former chief of operations and a train engineer early in his career, was named Friday chief executive officer at $262,000 a year.

Orseno's appointment comes in the wake of riders complaining about delays and cancellations during January, and a recent report the agency's police department is functioning improperly.

Orseno's predecessor, Alex Clifford, says he forced out of the job after a little over two years because he didn't go along with patronage requests. Clifford's predecessor, Phil Pagano, committed suicide in 2010 during an investigation into his defrauding the agency $475,000.

Noting both his father and grandfather were railroad men, Orseno says getting the job means he's "living my dream."

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