Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, member of the Department of Justice Office of Special Counsels, former federal prosecutor, nemesis of corruption, Roman Catholic, Brooklynite, son of a doorman, husband, father, and practical joke lover, will be stepping down after eleven years as a federal prosecutor.
Fitzgerald became infamous for his tenacity in targeting and tackling corrupt business moguls and politicians all across the political spectrum. He is considered the most a-political U.S. attorney ever to serve in Chicago, a city where everything is politically branded.
Fitzgerald’s most notable accomplishments were:
• Prosecuting and convicting Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, for perjury, after he leaked the covert identity of CIA operative, Valerie Plame.
• Investigating Rod Blagojevich’s attempt to sell Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat on Ebay,
which led to Blagojevich’s arrest and eventual conviction.
• Going after John Gambino of the Gambino crime family for drug trafficking.
• Prosecuting terrorists Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others in the 1993 WTC basement garage bombing.
There were cases of bribery, extortion, mail fraud, scandals, rumors, and drugs. Fitzgerald went after bureaucrats, autocrats, politicrats, dixicrats and mallrats. His top secret investigations had code names such as Operation Crooked Code, Operation Site Down, Operation Jolly Roger, Operation Rapid Cheetah Kosovo, Operation Firestorm Thor Hammer, Operation Electric Koolaid Testfire, Operation Snow White and the Eleven Dwarfs, Operation Cool Hair Luke, Operation Tickle Me Enron, and Operation Monster Under the Bush. They’re not supposed to mean anything in particular.
Having had such a productive career prosecuting terrorists, drug traffickers, and politicians, Fitzgerald is hanging up his lawyer boots and becoming a volunteer motivational speaker. He says he wants to pass on his tenacity to the next generation of federal prosecutors. Also, the next case he was assigned was going to be really boring, so—time to wrap it up.
While still in office, he tried to adopt a cat, but was denied by the ASPCA due to his work habits. He found a friend who lent him a cat in the meantime.
He also has two kids.