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Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and a member of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel has resigned and will leave office on June 30.  News reports say that he is leaving this position in Chicago and as of now has no future job lined up.  No reason was given for his decision.

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U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald stepping down June 30

The office gave no reason for Fitzgerald's decision, but said he has no immediate employment plans and intends to take off this summer before considering his next career move.

“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.”

He was scheduled to address a press conference on Thursday morning in Chicago.

Fitzgerald oversaw the public corruption investigations that resulted in the convictions of both Ryan and Blagojevich.

Eric Holder:

“Over the years, he has gained the trust of two presidents and the unwavering confidence of four Attorneys General, and I am deeply grateful to him for his service and his friendship over the years.”  

Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/...

"Mr. Fitzgerald notified the White House, Attorney General Eric Holder, and U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin and Mark Kirk this morning of his decision to step down from the presidentially appointed post that he has held since Sept. 1, 2001, making him the longest-serving U.S. Attorney ever in Chicago," he said in a release.

Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/...

From the DOJ via emptywheel:
Attorney General Eric Holder issued the following statement today on the resignation of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald:

“Throughout his distinguished career as a prosecutor, United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has served the American people and the citizens of Illinois with the utmost integrity and a steadfast commitment to the cause of justice.

“From his early consequential years in New York City confronting the terrorist threat to his strong leadership of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, Pat has rightly earned a reputation over these last 24 years as a prosecutor’s prosecutor, overseeing significant cases involving public corruption, international terrorism and terrorism financing, corporate fraud, organized crime, and violent crime.

“A hallmark of Pat’s tenure has been his personal commitment to the Department’s mission and his willingness to accept the call of duty – whenever it came and whatever it required.   In 2003, he was appointed as special counsel in the investigation into the disclosure of the identity of a covert employee of the Central Intelligence Agency that resulted in the indictment of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, then chief of staff and national security advisor to the Vice President.  He also served as lead counsel in the trial, which resulted in Mr. Libby’s conviction on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.  In 2010, I appointed Pat as Special Attorney to supervise the investigation that resulted in the pending indictment, in the Eastern District of Virginia, of former CIA officer John Kiriakou for allegedly repeatedly disclosing classified information, including the name of a covert CIA officer and information revealing the role of another CIA employee in classified activities.

“Over the years, he has gained the trust of two presidents and the unwavering confidence of four Attorneys General, and I am deeply grateful to him for his service and his friendship over the years.”

Update: Here is the link to the DOJ announcement.

A little about his career from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Fitzgerald has overseen thousands of criminal prosecutions and high-profile cases, including against Illinois governors Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan, former Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and media mogul Conrad Black. He took on public corruption, international terrorism, corporate fraud and organized crime.
Fitzgerald has been in with the DOJ for almost 24 years.  He is was well known and well loved at one time on this site and much has been written about him here.

Tag: Patrick Fitzgerald
Tag: Fitzmas

Let the speculation begin.



Updates

Chicago newspapers:

Tribune:

Chicago's aggressive prosecutor Fitzgerald to step down

CHICAGO, May 23 (Reuters) - Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the
aggressive U.S. Attorney in Chicago whose investigations ranged
from al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to CIA leaks and two
consecutive Illinois governors, said on Wednesday he would step
down effective June 30.

Fitzgerald, 51, who has held the post since days before the
Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, is the longest-serving U.S.
attorney in Chicago history. He is known for taking a hard line
on political corruption, and has overseen thousand of criminal
cases, including organized crime bosses, former Chicago
officials who rigged city hiring, and supporters of terrorism.

[ ... ]

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin praised Fitzgerald for his “aggressive prosecution of wrongdoing — including politicians in both parties.” Durbin adds that Fitzgerald “has given fair warning that no one is above the law.”

Fitzgerald: 10 years of major cases

Public corruption [ ... ]

Organized crime [ ... ]

Terrorism  [ ... ]

Corporate  [ ... ]

Special duties [ ... ]

Sun-Times:
Patrick Fitzgerald quits U.S. attorney post after nearly 11 years

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald — who toppled two Illinois governors and a top aide to the former vice president, and also went after the Chicago mob, a notorious police commander accused of torture and even international terrorists — is stepping down.

The corruption-busting prosecutor said he will leave the post June 30 after serving nearly 11 years in the post, longer than anyone else in Illinois history.

[ ... ]

Some close to Fitzgerald said they learned of his decision only shortly before he announced it Wednesday morning. While the timing of the announcement came as a surprise to some, Fitzgerald’s departure was expected by others considering his long tenure and successful track record. He was scheduled to address the media on Thursday morning.



Chicago TV News Affiliates:

CBS:

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald To Step Down

He gained a reputation as a zealous prosecutor devoted to fighting corruption, although some critics questioned his strong choice of words, such as proclaiming in 2008 that Blagojevich had committed “conduct that would make President Lincoln roll over in his grave.”

Last year, there were rumors that he might be appointed FBI director, but Robert Mueller remains in that position.

ABC:
Patrick Fitzgerald stepping down as US attorney in Chicago

Fitzgerald will talk to reporters about his decision to resign at a news conference Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m., according to the release.

Fox:
Chicago's U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald resigns after 24 years

In the Chicago area, Fitzgerald led numerous drug trafficking and firearms prosecutions.

In his resignation, Fitzgerald notified U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, as well as Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.

WGN:
Patrick Fitzgerald stepping down June 30

CHICAGO— Patrick Fitzgerald, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois for more than a decade, announced Wednesday that he is stepping down on June 30.



More news stories:

AP:

Fitzgerald stepping down as US attorney in Chicago

It was his reputation as a hard-charging prosecutor that got him the job in the first place. As an assistant U.S. attorney in New York he successfully prosecuted major terrorism cases, including against those responsible for the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in East Africa and Omar Abdel-Rahman, the so-called "blind sheik," convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and conspiring to blow up bridges and buildings around New York city.

[ ... ]

Fitzgerald's name is repeatedly mentioned as a possible replacement for FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is scheduled to step down next year. And his strong reputation and name recognition could make him an ideal political candidate.

But Fitzgerald, who was appointed by a Republican president, George W. Bush, and has kept his job under a Democrat, Barack Obama, has said he has "no intention of ever running for any office."

Reuters:
Aggressive Chicago prosecutor Fitzgerald to step down
"He will be a tough act to follow - that's the understatement of the day," said Andy Shaw, president and CEO of the Better Government Association, a Chicago-based political watchdog group. "He brought a level of commitment and passion and skill to that job that elevated it to a new level."

Shaw said Fitzgerald was "in a class of his own" because he had no political agenda, which was illustrated by his office's successful prosecution first of a Republican governor, George Ryan, and then a Democratic governor, Rod Blagojevich.



Title Change: I changed the title because the "Fitz Resigns" title was causing our friends in Wisconsin to rejoice and then have a 19th nervous breakdown when they realized it wasn't their Fitz.  Sorry about that! I would never do that to you guys on purpose!  I changed it to make it clear it is Patrick Fitzgerald.  






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