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U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald will step down

Chicago’s top federal prosecutor served nearly 11 years, will leave June 30

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is ready to move on.

Fitzgerald—who has served as Chicago’s top federal prosecutor for nearly 11 years and is the city’s longest-serving U.S. Attorney—announced yesterday that he will step down from his position June 30.

Prior to his Northern District of Illinois post, which he assumed in September 2001, Fitzgerald was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York for nearly 13 years.

“When I was selected for this position in 2001, I said that it was one of the greatest opportunities that one could ever hope for, and I believe that even more now after having the privilege of working alongside hundreds of dedicated prosecutors and agents,” Fitzgerald said in a statement.

Fitzgerald leaves behind an impressive array of criminal prosecutions, as well as successful resolutions to major cases involving public corruption, terrorism, corporate fraud and organized crime. He was the lead prosecutor in the trial of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, who was found guilty of lying to federal agents and obstructing an investigation into the leak of an undercover CIA officer’s identity. He also oversaw the corruption convictions of ex-Illinois governors Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan, as well as media magnate Conrad Black, who was convicted of mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

“Pat Fitzgerald is universally regarded as a dogged, fair, bipartisan prosecutor who served with distinction,” said Kelley Drye & Warren Partner Paul Garcia. Garcia worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois just prior to Fitzgerald’s appointment. “He will be missed—but not by scofflaws of any stripes.”

Fitzgerald, 51, doesn’t have any future career plans and will take the summer off before he considers his next move.

Read the Chicago Tribune for more about Fitzgerald’s legacy.

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