A new task force is looking to clean up corruption in public transportation. Gov. Pat Quinn has created the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force in response to scandals at Metra, the Chicago-area commuter rail agency. The 15-member panel will make recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly on ways to eliminate fraud in mass transit.
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“I think we need a real fresh look by a group of citizens who take a look at the entire system and decide what is best for the public,” Quinn said. The task force will be co-chaired by Ann Schneider, secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation, and George Ranney Jr., president of Metropolis Strategies, who has lobbied for an end to the Regional Transportation Authority.
Another notable name on the task force is former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. Quinn says his involvement doesn’t necessarily mean there are signs of criminal activity in Metra or the RTA. The task force could issue its initial recommendations before the fall veto session. After the formation of the task force was announced, another Metra board member, Stanley Rakestraw resigned. He’s the fifth board member to depart since Metra executive director oAlex D. Clifford resigned on June 21.