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Emanuel Slots Claypool Into Top CTA Spot

By Prescott Carlson in News on Apr 19, 2011 6:00PM

2011_04_19_forrest.jpg Mayor-elect Emanuel has named Forrest Claypool as his choice to head the CTA, a seeming quid pro quo move for garnering Claypool's endorsement in the mayoral race. Can we finally stop calling Claypool a "reformer" now?

After all, besides endorsing Emanuel, Claypool also wholeheartedly supported Alexi Giannoulias in his run for U.S. Senate over the reform candidate, former Inspector General David Hoffman, and decided to lay low instead of backing Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle in the Democratic primary. And don't forget Claypool's latest political effort, running unsuccessfully for Cook County Assessor against Joe Berrios. Even Ed Burke would have looked like a reform candidate compared to notorious insider Berrios.

Now, Claypool will be tucked safely away as the CTA President, taking over for Richard Rodriguez, who was moved into the position after Mayor Daley slid his predecessor, Ron Huberman, into a highly criticized stint with the Chicago Public Schools. Claypool has been a part of Emanuel's transportation transition committee, and will earn almost $200k a year in the position.

In addition to Claypool, Emanuel has also tapped Gabe Klein, former head of Washington D.C.'s Department of Transportation, as commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation, and also announced that he would be keeping former head of the Chicago Housing Authority Terry Peterson on as chairman of the CTA board. Peterson has been described as a "close confidant" of Mayor Daley, previously acting as his campaign manager in the 2006 election as well as sitting on the 2016 Olympic committee. Peterson was appointed to the board by Daley in 2009.