Amid personal crisis, public transit chief spends big on crisis communication

A commuter rail provider in Illinois has come under fire for its PR spending after a report showed its former leader approved a $400,000 contract with an outside firm.

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A Daily Herald report reveals that Metra has paid more than $400,000 to Culloton Strategies, which specializes in crisis management. The company was hired to provide public information services, communications strategy, community outreach, and printing for Metra.

Metra’s former CEO, Phil Pagano, approved the contract, according to the report.

From the Daily Herald:

Ironically, a PR tsunami occurred just months later when Pagano stepped in front of a train on May 7, 2010, amid an investigation into financial wrongdoing. It was later revealed Pagano swindled at least $475,000 in vacation pay and ran the agency like a dictator, keeping board directors in the dark about operations.

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