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Metra top cop tapped because of experience, not clout, Quinn says

Tracking Metra . . .

Keeping track of the new choo-choo gumshoe.

Sneed is told Metra’s new Police Chief Joseph Perez was once head of Gov. Pat Quinn’s bodyguard detail.

Hmmm. And the choice of Perez, a former State Police commander, has prompted a gaggle of Quinn’s GOP critics to detect the scent of clout.

◆ Track side: “That’s ridiculous,” said a spokeswoman for Quinn, who claims the governor had nothing to do with the pick of Perez, who was head of the governor’s executive protection unit until 2012.

“The governor feels he is a good, responsible man who is committed to public service and was always a consummate professional,” she said. Perez is a 28-year State Police veteran.

◆ Rail side: “Chief Perez was chosen by new Metra CEO Don Orseno and was one of three finalists culled from 68 candidates interviewed by three Metra subcommittees,” said Arnette Heintze, whose consulting company Hillard Heintze issued a scathing report last year claiming Metra officers rarely ride trains.

“The governor had nothing to do with it,” he said.

Isn’t politics fun gearing up to election time?

CONTINUE READING MICHAEL SNEED’S COLUMN AT SUNTIMES.COM