Michael Madigan son-in-law Jordan Matyas to exit RTA chief of staff post

  • Jordan Matyas

    Jordan Matyas

 
 
Updated 10/17/2014 5:45 PM

The son-in-law of powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan is leaving his job as a top administrator at the Regional Transportation Authority after a turbulent few years.

Jordan Matyas' resignation will be effective Oct. 31, an RTA spokeswoman said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Officials did not give the reason for his departure, and Matyas did not respond to a request for comment.

The agency's chief of staff's exit comes with a turnover of leadership at the agency. This summer, the RTA gained a new chairman, former state Sen. Kirk Dillard, and on Wednesday directors appointed acting Executive Director Leanne Redden as the agency's chief.

Matyas and former CEO Joe Costello were the subject of an internal investigation in 2012 by an outside attorney after complaints of inappropriate behavior surfaced. The report by attorney Renee Benjamin found that complaints of low morale, a "culture of fear" and "use of racial slurs and sexually explicit language" were credible.

Matyas vehemently denied using offensive language, saying it was "antithetical to my character, my history and everything I believe."

The RTA forwarded the document to the Illinois inspector general and required both executives to undergo management training.

Matyas, an attorney, was hired at the RTA in 2011 as a government affairs manager at a time when the Illinois legislature was contemplating a bill to eliminate the agency. He was promoted to chief of staff in 2012. In Benjamin's report, she noted complaints by some employees that the move was a political one.

During Matyas' tenure, he spearheaded several costly lawsuits against various municipalities outside the metropolitan region for acting as tax havens for corporations. The agency argued the companies should have been paying taxes in the six-county area that the RTA represents.

While some questioned if the lawsuits were necessary given that the state was pursuing similar litigation, former Chairman John Gates defended the actions and said they were vital in returning sales tax dollars to transit in the region.

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