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Consumer advocate named to IL utility commission

By Illinois Public Radio

Springfield, Ill. – Governor Rod Blagojevich has overhauled the Illinois Commerce Commission appointing a consumer advocate as its chair.

Marty Cohen, who has headed the watchdog Citizens Utility Board, will take over.

Blagojevich reportedly sent a letter to two commissioners, including Chairman Ed Hurley, threatening to fire them if they failed to step down. Hurley resigned and has been given another position.

Governor Blagojevich has refused to say why he felt a change was needed.

Blagojevich has made it clear he opposes a plan the state's two largest power suppliers are pushing regarding wholesale energy, which consumer groups argue could result in big rate increase.

Blagojevich says having Cohen head the Commerce Commission will provide a voice for utility customers.

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