Chicago needs another Patrick Fitzgerald to be its U.S. Attorney

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.

Patrick Fitzgerald (Dept. of Justice)

Patrick Fitzgerald (Dept. of Justice)

Among his most notable indictments were of former Republican GovGeorge 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)

Peter Fitzgerald (Official Photograph)

Peter Fitzgerald (Official Photograph)

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

Zachary Fardon (Dept. of Justice)

Zachary Fardon (Dept. of Justice)

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.

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  • What makes you think that the person for whom you said you didn't vote and has shown (1) his contempt of the law and (2) that his word to the US Atty for the SDNY meant nothing is going to appoint one?

    What was so wrong with Fardon? Or are you agnostic on that, too?

  • As I indicated, nothing's wrong with Fardon. I'm just being realistic. Trump won't change the long practice of the administration naming its own people for policy-making and top administrative roles. I'm just hoping that it's someone like Fitzgerald, but I'm uncertain that Trump would be good for that. That's why I wrote the post.

  • Looks like the ND Ill doesn't get a DA for a long time (Sun Times)

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