Wiehle-Reston East fare gates
Silver Line fare gates. (Robert Thomson – The Washington Post)

Metro announced Monday that it has hired a new chief financial officer, Dennis Anosike, who was chief financial officer of the Chicago Transit Authority for 12 years before taking a private sector job in 2009.

Until recently, Anosike was a senior vice president of the Northern Trust Company, overseeing the management of an array of pension funds. At Metro, he replaces Carol Kissal, who resigned as chief financial officer in April, shortly after a federal audit report criticized the transit agency’s handling of millions of dollars in grant money.

At the Chicago Transit Authority, or CTA, Anosike “oversaw the offices of budget, comptroller, capital investment, treasury and financial reporting,” Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said in a letter to Metro employees Monday.

“Major initiatives led by Mr. Anosike during his tenure at CTA included implementation of a new financial system and electronic fare media system and the re-introduction of CTA to the capital markets after 30 years,” Sarles said. Anosike also “led and represented the agency before oversight agencies and in grant negotiations with city, states and federal partners.”

Before becoming the CTA’s chief financial officer in the late 1990s, Anosike had been the agency’s budget director. Before that, Sarles said, “he rose through the ranks of the Office of Budget and Management of the city of Chicago,” becoming the city’s deputy budget director.

Kissal, a former Amtrak executive, resigned as Metro’s chief financial officer after an audit report commissioned by the Federal Transit Administration found that Metro had mishandled federal grant money from April 2012 to March 2013. It said Metro awarded millions of dollars in no-bid contracts, skirted contracting rules and appeared to steer work to a preferred vendor who lack expertise.

At the time the report was issued, in March, Kissal said that the problems had resulted from poor financial systems that were in place before Sarles and his team, including Kissal, took control of Metro in 2010.

Since her departure, Blair Fishburn, Metro’s deputy chief financial officer, has been filling in temporarily. Sarles said Fishburn will serve as Anosike’s deputy.