Governor names pro-business official new head of IEPA

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has tapped an adviser who once worked for a nonprofit group representing large energy firms as his new director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

A Friday statement from Rauner’s office says Alec Messina most recently served as a policy adviser to the Republican governor on energy and the environment.

The outgoing director, Lisa Bonnett, is a carry-over from the administration of former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Rauner’s office says her resignation took effect Friday.

Messina has previously worked as the executive director of the Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group. Its members include, among others, officials from Ameren, Archer Daniels Midland Company and ExxonMobil Corp.

Messina was the IEPA’s chief legal counsel from 2005 to 2010. That period included several years under former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich.