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DeWitte appointed to county RTA post

GENEVA – Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen on Tuesday announced that former St. Charles mayor Don DeWitte will represent the county on the Regional Transportation Authority board and Manuel Barbosa, a retired federal bankruptcy judge who lives in Elgin, will become the county’s representative on the Metra board.

DeWitte served as Third Ward alderman for St. Charles from 1993 to 2005, and served as mayor from 2005 until 2013.

In his cover letter, he said that as mayor, he oversaw a $140 million organization and has “gained insight and expertise in multi-jurisdictional transportation related projects” such as the Red Gate Bridge and the reconstruction of Route 64 on the east side of St. Charles.

Lauzen disclosed that DeWitte did support him politically in the past.

“For those who say DeWitte is a political ally, that is half-true,” Lauzen said. “He supported me in two campaigns and supported my opponent in two campaigns. The bottom line on Don DeWitte is that he thinks for himself.”

DeWitte said Lauzen’s statement about his past political support was accurate and said he’s supported both Lauzen and his opponents in various races.

“I would hope that would diminish some concerns people have regarding that allegation or concern,” he said, adding that he looks forward to “being a vigilant steward to the taxpayers of Kane County who have contributed millions to the RTA transit system.”

DeWitte’s term on the RTA board expires in April 2017.

Barbosa’s resume includes working in the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office as an assistant state’s attorney, as well as two law firms, including his own.

He was appointed as a U.S. bankruptcy judge in 1998, and Lauzen said Barbosa served in that position for 16 years.

In his cover letter, he said that he does not plan to practice law or pursue any other full-time employment “so that I could devote as much time as needed to do a good job.”

After the meeting, Lauzen said choosing Barbosa was more for his sense of integrity than his transportation expertise.

Lauzen said as a federal bankruptcy judge, Barbosa had to go through extensive background checks and “remained apolitical” in his posts. Barbosa could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Barbosa’s term on the Metra board expires in March 2016.

More than 40 candidates were considered for the two positions and were quickly narrowed down between last week and Tuesday.

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