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Metra Selects Former Top Chicago Cop And Secret Service Leader To Head OIG

(May 26, 2010) - 
Hillard Heintze firm to lead interim Office of Inspector General and find permanent IG Advisory firm sought to perform risk assessment, financial control study
 
The Metra Board of Directors has named the security and investigations firm headed by former U.S. Secret Service Chicago Special-Agent-in-Charge Arnette Heintze and former Chicago Police Superintendent Terry Hillard to serve the role of interim Metra Office of Inspector General (OIG) and to assist the board in selecting a permanent on-staff OIG leader.  The appointment was approved at a special meeting today.
 
The board also said it has begun the process of engaging an audit and advisory firm with public sector experience to undertake an independent risk assessment and to provide advice to the board on governance, financial controls and oversight. 
 
Effective immediately, Hillard Heintze will handle any complaints being directed to the office created by the Metra Board of Directors at its May 14th board meeting.   The firm of experienced former federal agents, state and local law enforcement executives and homeland security experts will assess all complaints, alerts and alleged incidents and conduct investigations.  The OIG will report directly to the board.
 
Metra Chairman Carole R. Doris and the board also tasked the firm with advising on a blueprint for the new OIG, complete with job description, roles and responsibilities within the new office, resources and guidance for reporting to the board.  The firm will also be available to help the permanent IG lay the groundwork for the new office, accelerate the implementation of national best practices in audits and investigations and manage operations as needed.
 
“Arnette Heintze and Terry Hillard and their team of distinguished law enforcement and security experts are the perfect leaders to establish this critical post,” Chairman Doris said.  “By selecting Hillard Heintze, this board is making a statement to the public, our partners in government and our riders that we expect Metra executives and our employees to conduct themselves with the highest level of integrity.”
 
“While the actions of our former executive director have tarnished our image, we know the vast majority of the men and women of Metra strive to achieve this high standard every day,” Doris continued.  “We hope they now know that they can bring any concerns they may have – now or in the future – to the OIG for a thorough, professional review. “
 
Last week, the board created two new committees to directly oversee the executive director and the agency’s finances.  The risk assessment firm will report directly to the board and its comprehensive review will be in addition to the annual financial audits of the agency conducted by professional accounting firms.  Since 1984, Metra has been audited by Price Waterhouse (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers); Grant Thornton (now GrantThornton LLP); Deloitte & Touche (now Deloitte); and, since 2000, by the firm now known as Crowe Horwath.
 
Earlier, the board’s new Financial Practices and Reporting Review Committee:
  • discussed the addition of a Federal Transit Administration compliance consultant
  • and took its first steps to undertake a compensation review including salary, deferred compensation and other benefits, focusing initially on the executive director and senior management.
The board’s new Executive Committee held its first meeting as well and authorized actions to begin a search for a permanent executive director of Metra.  Metra Deputy Director Bill Tupper has been serving as the acting executive director since the Special Meeting on April 30, 2010.
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