Dillard, running for governor, calls for feds to probe Metra
BY NATASHA KORECKI Political Reporter @natashakorecki July 15, 2013 11:10AM
State Senator Kirk Dillard announced his run for governor. | Natasha Korecki~Sun-Times
Updated: August 17, 2013 6:23AM
As state Sen. Kirk Dillard on Monday made his Republican bid for governor official, he proclaimed that federal authorities should investigate the scandal involving Metra patronage allegations.
“Everyone who has an opportunity to investigate Metra, including the United States Attorney’s Office, should investigate Metra,” Dillard said at a news conference.
His remarks came on the day that he announced his bid for governor and after he was asked if Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan should probe the matter.
“We need to blow up Metra’s board. We need to completely re-examine the way Metra is governed,” Dillard said. “The patronage that was going on there is absolutely unacceptable — it could be illegal.”
Dillard was responding to questions about allegations lodged in an explosive memo made public last week that the former Metra CEO believed he was forced out because he failed to heed to patronage demands, including from House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Dillard’s announcement will create a four-way primary race for Republicans. Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, state Sen. Bill Brady and Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford are also vying for the state’s top spot.
“I will fix this pension mess,” Dillard vowed.
Dillard, 57, a Hinsdale resident and former chief of staff to ex-Gov. Jim Edgar, said he would slash lawmakers’ pensions and continue to suspend their pay if the budget isn’t balanced. Dillard announced in front of his childhood home in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood and went on a two-day fly-around the state.