Madigan invites probe into Metra involvement

CHICAGO (AP) – House Speaker Michael Madigan has written a letter to the Legislative Ethics Commission inviting it to investigate him for seeking a pay raise for a political ally at the Metra rail agency.

The commission is already working with the state's inspector general on the possibility of conducting a joint investigation.

Madigan has acknowledged recommending a pay raise last year for Patrick Ward, a contributor to campaigns benefiting the speaker. Ward was working as a labor relations specialist for Metra at the time, but later resigned.

Metra's ousted CEO Alex Clifford refused to grant the raise and has said he believes Madigan's actions betrayed "a moral and ethical flaw."

Madigan said in Friday's letter he does not believe his actions violated any law or ethical rule. He is pledging to cooperate.