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Article posted: 4/5/2013 3:47 PM

Railroad expert from Lake County headed for Metra board

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The Metra board's latest shake-up involves the likely appointment of a railroad consultant and historian who was a top executive with Arthur Andersen & Co.

The Lake County Board is expected to approve Chairman Aaron Lawlor's appointment of Lake County resident Norm Carlson to Metra's 11-member board of directors Tuesday.

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Carlson is a retired North American railroad industry head at Arthur Andersen and financial consultant to several major U.S. railroads. He also is moderator of the Hagestad SandHouse Gang, a railroad discussion group of railroad experts, scholars and enthusiasts run by the Northwestern University Transportation Center.

Carlson will replace James LaBelle of Zion, a former Lake County Board chairman, whose term had expired. LaBelle joined Metra in 2008.

The Metra board has been slowly transitioning since a financial scandal three years ago involving deceased Executive Director Phil Pagano's misuse of funds.

If Carlson joins the board, he will become the sixth new member following the debacle. Board Director Jack Schaffer of Cary has also indicated he will not seek to be reappointed.

Carlson said Friday he preferred not to comment until the Lake County Board votes.

Metra board directors are selected by: the Chicago mayor, Cook County board president and commissioners, the chairmen of DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties and the Will County executive.

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