Updated: September 1, 2013 6:42AM
Metra Board member Paul Darley, who represented DuPage County at the commuter rail agency, resigned Tuesday, citing numerous calls from the public for the entire board to step down since a political patronage scandal broke earlier this month.
Darley, a businessman from Elmhurst, is the second board member to resign since public disclosure that ousted Metra CEO Alex Clifford felt he was being forced out of his job because he refused the patronage requests of House Speaker Mike Madigan and others. Clifford walked away with a severance package totaling up to $718,000.
Board members have said they approved the large sum to avoid a potentially costlier court battle with Clifford.
Critics called the payout “hush money” due to confidentiality clause tied to the deal. Clifford, however, was obliged to break his silence when he testified before the Regional Transportation Authority.
In his letter, Darley said he fully supports a comprehensive investigation. He also noted that he donated the stipend he received as a board member to charity and turned down health insurance and a pension. He served on the board for two years.
“This is a difficult decision for me. On one hand, I feel I am abandoning the Metra team at a time when it faces monumental issues, aside from this discredita ble settlement and patronage situation,” he wrote.
Mike McCoy, who represented Kane County, resigned from the board earlier this month.