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Metra Mess: insurance policy now under the microscope

Metra officials are exploring whether the agency can tap a $10 million insurance policy to cover any of the cost of ex-CEO Alex Clifford’s $871,000 farewell handshake — or the additional $340,000 tab for “damage control.”

Metra Board members have said they were upset to discover as part of an RTA audit that a $10 million employment practices liability insurance policy with a mere $150,000 deductible might have been used to cover a threatened Clifford whistleblower suit or costs surrounding Clifford’s June 21 farewell handshake.

RTA audit chief Michael Zumach on Wednesday put the cost of the 26-month deal to buy Clifford out of his CEO contract eight months early at a maximum $871,000 — up solidly from the $718,000 provided previously by Metra.

In addition, a legal “forensic analysis” by RTA board member William Coulson put the cost to Metra — and taxpayers — of outside attorneys, special “crisis management” media consultants and other “damage control” at an additional $340,000.

Exactly what does Metra’s policy with Illinois National Insurance Company say? Below, read the policy and Clifford’s separation agreement:

Metra Insurance Policy

Clifford Separation Agreement