CHICAGO (Reuters) - The chief executive of Chicago’s commuter rail system, who was under investigation for paying himself a $56,000 bonus, committed suicide by stepping in front of a commuter train on Friday, local media reported.
Last week, Phil Pagano was put on paid leave by the board of directors of Metra, where he had been executive director for 20 years. A spokeswoman for the cash-strapped agency said Pagano’s bonus on top of his $270,000 salary was improper.
Metra’s board canceled a scheduled meeting and issued a statement announcing Pagano’s death. The sheriff in suburban McHenry County said a man had walked in front of an oncoming train in an apparent suicide.
Pagano’s death follows some recent high-profile suicides of Illinois political figures.
Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Michael Scott shot himself to death along the Chicago River in November; and Christopher Kelly, an aide to ousted former state governor Rod Blagojevich, committed suicide in September before he was due to begin a prison term.
Reporting by Andrew Stern; Editing by Eric Walsh