With President Donald Trump now having the opportunity to appoint dozens of new federal prosecutors, he should name someone with the integrity and skill of Patrick Fitzgerald as U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois.
Fitzgerald as U.S. Attorney ran through Chicago and Illinois political corruption like shit through a goose.
Among his most notable indictments were of former Republican Gov. George Ryan, convicted for criminal abuses of authority, and Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, convicted of attempting to sell the Senate seat vacated President-elect Barack Obama. He also successfully nailed former Chicago Sun-Times owner Conrad Black, some Mayor Richard Daley underlings in the Hired Truck scandal, and Chicago detective Jon Burge.
Chicago and Illinois Democrats who have run the city and state into the ground with its corruption, political partisanship and all-around incompetence now ought to be worried about whom Trump will nominate to replace Zachary Fardon. He's done a good job in the role, but, as is tradition, a new administration puts its own people into those positions.
That's how Fitzgerald got there. As the leading GOP senator in Illinois, Peter Fitzgerald (no relation)
bucked the state Republic leadership by insisting that an outsider be appointed to the post. Patrick Fitzgerald fit the bill perfectly. Before coming to Chicago, he had earned a reputation as an energetic and successful crime fighter. As assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and as Chief of the Organized Crime-Terrorism Unit, he helped prosecute Usama Bin Laden, and Ramzi Yousef Rahman, the "blind sheik" convicted for conspiracy charges in connection with a plot to conduct a terrorism war against the United States. He also headed the Valerie Plame investigation that led to the perjury conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby.
With those credentials, no wonder the "combine" of cozy leaders of both parties didn't want him. (Credit goes to Tribune columnist John Kass for coining "combine" to correctly describe the behind-the-scenes finagling of Illinois Democrats and Republicans.)
Peter Fitzgerald paid the price for his independence and integrity by not being supported by GOP
leadership for re-election. Instead the nomination went to Jack Ryan, but he withdrew because of bad publicity about his divorce. The party eventually settled on "carpetbagger"Alan Keyes who got trounced by...Barack Obama. The rest is history. I guess you could credit goofy and kinky Illinois politics for the Obama presidency.
But I digress.
No telling what Trump will do. But you can bet that the backroom maneuverings already have begun. And that neither the state Democratic and Republican parties want another Patrick Fitzgerald.
Find out what freelance editorial services I can provide for you.