- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Metra’s new executive director says the Chicago-area commuter rail agency has taken action to eliminate political interference in hiring and other personnel decisions.

The agency became embroiled in scandal last year when the previous director said he was forced from his job for resisting political pressure in hiring and contract decisions.

Addressing business leaders in Chicago Thursday, Don Orseno said the agency’s injuries were self-inflicted by failed leadership. The 40-year veteran of the railroad industry says he and other members of a new leadership team have made vital reforms since taking over six months ago.

They include policies to root out political patronage in hiring. Specifically, Orseno says, those interviewing job candidates and managers must now certify that political affiliations were not a factor in employment decisions.