Son-In-Law of Mike Madigan hired by RTA for Top Lobbying Job

Son-In-Law of Mike Madigan hired by RTA for Top Lobbying Job

03/11/2011

The son-in-law of Illinois House of Representatives Speaker Michael Madigan, has netted a $130,000-a-year job as the main lobbyist for a transit agency, the Regional Transportation Authority.

Jordan Matyas was appointed as the deputy executive director of RTA and will supervise the government affairs section of the agency starting March 1.

Joe Costello, the RTA Executive Director, said the “extensive legal and legislative background” of Matyas made him perfect to supervise the lobbying efforts of RTA at local, state, as well as federal levels.

In a prepared statement, Costello said, “We are pleased to have Jordan join our executive team to help further solidify public transit’s role in our region.”

The spokeswoman for RTA, Diane Palmer, said that the agency had several applicants for the position, which have been unoccupied since 2010. She also said that the job was posted on RTA’s website.

Palmer, however, would not confirm whether there was any connection between the hiring of Matyas and the death of legislation in January that would have ousted RTA Chairman John Gates, who already had an edgy relationship with the House Speaker.

Despite the denials made by the RTA, House Rep. Randy Ramey, a Republican from Carol Stream, said, “It seems a little shaky this bill comes up and disappears, and then the next thing you know a relative of the speaker is getting hired in a pretty high-paying position.”

He also said, “I’d suspect we should have an investigation, but I don’t who should do that? The Attorney General? Maybe not.”

The Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, is the daughter of the Speaker and the sister-in-law of Matyas.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com