By Cheryl V. Jackson
Chicago Sun-Time Reporter

Ald. Manuel “Manny” Flores is being tapped to head the Illinois Commerce Commission, the state body responsible for regulating utilities.

Gov. Quinn is expected to announce Flores’ appointment as ICC chairman this morning.

Ald. Manuel “Manny” Flores is being tapped to head the Illinois Commerce Commission, the state body responsible for regulating utilities.

It is unclear when Flores will resign.

Quinn is one of the founders of the consumer advocate Citizens Utility Board.

“Consumer protection and rights is a long-standing mission and concern of his,” said Robert Reed, Quinn’s spokesman. “He believes that Manny Flores is going to be a very strong pro-consumer force with the ICC.”

Flores, a former assistant Cook County state’s attorney and ex-aide to U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, unseated Ald. Jesse Granato in 2003.

On the City Council, he called for monitoring of Olympic 2016 spending and aldermanic oversight of Olympic contracts and tried to cap the taxpayer contribution at $500 million for a Chicago-hosted 2016 Olympics.

He became a critic of the parking meter privatization deal after voting in favor of it and later questioned Mayor Daley’s 2010 budget.

With Ald. Scott Waguespack (32rd), he proposed making information about the city’s tax increment financing districts accessible in one spot online.

“I’m honored for the governor’s appointment to serve as the chairman of the ICC,” Flores said.

The five-member ICC also regulates interstate motor carriers and rail, bus and barge transportation; sets rates for privately owned electric, natural gas, telephone, water and sewer companies; regulates intrastate rates of property motor carriers; inspects railroad crossings and tracks, and railroad cars carrying hazardous materials.

The appointment requires state Senate confirmation.

If confirmed, Flores would replace Charles E. Box, a former Rockford mayor appointed by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2006. Box’s term is expiring.