Cook County president to appoint new Metra member

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says she plans to appoint a retired Chicago Transit Authority vice president to the Metra board.

Preckwinkle made the announcement Monday. She says Romayne Brown has more than 30 years of experience in transportation. Brown started as a CTA conductor and eventually became vice president of rail operations for the agency. She replaces Stanley Rakestraw, who resigned in August. Preckwinkle asked for Rakestraw's resignation after learning he moved to a downtown Chicago condo after his home in suburban Flossmoor burned down.

Several Metra board members have resigned amid controversy over former Metra CEO Alex Clifford's $718,000 buyout. Clifford resigned June 21, citing the pressure he was under to make political appointments.

Rakestraw held a seat on the Metra board representing the city's suburbs.