- Associated Press - Sunday, June 21, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Dorval Carter took a new job last month as president of the Chicago Transit Authority and had to temporarily suspend receipt of a pension - from the CTA.

Carter left the CTA in 2009 and signed up for an early retirement program that has paid him $755,000 in retirement benefits in just 5½ years, according to documents reviewed by the Chicago Sun-Times and Better Government Association (http://bit.ly/1SAUM8k ).

But the 57-year-old Carter wasn’t retired. He worked in President Barack Obama’s Transportation Department at a salary of $146,000 annually while taking in $137,000 a year in CTA pension.

“He signed up for a program that dozens of his colleagues signed up for as well,” CTA spokesman Brian Steele said, adding that Carter was not given any special treatment. Toward that pension, Carter paid $245,000 records show.

Carter, who now makes $235,000 as CTA chief, worked for the transit agency from 1984 to 1991. After a stint for the Federal Transit Administration, he returned to CTA in 2000 and accepted the early retirement deal in 2009.

Carter has an unlisted phone number. A CTA spokesman declined further comment Sunday.

The Sun-Times reported that Carter had been contributing to the CTA pension plan which provides for retirement at 65 and participated in a “supplemental” program for executives that the CTA decide to close in 2008. As part of ending the plan, the CTA allowed 150 executives to roll regular contributions into the supplemental plan if they retired by June 2011.

Carter accepted the deal, giving up annual cost-of-living increases, but boosting his pension by rolling in federal-service time and buying credit. He missed a deadline for counting his federal work but a retirement plan board allowed him to pay a $17,300 penalty and get the credit. He paid $186,000 to buy additional pension credit and moved over the $59,000 he had contributed to the regular plan.

CTA officials say no one has evaluated how much the program saved the transit line.

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Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://chicago.suntimes.com/

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