Greg Hinz got the story:
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is leaving his post effective June 30, his office has just announced.What he is well known for!
Mr. Fitzgerald, the man responsible for convicting and imprisoning former Govs. George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich and numerous other top pols, has no immediate employment plans and will take the summer off, his statement said.
The departure is not unexpected after more than a decade in office. The top federal prosecutor, 51, is to hold a press conference tomorrow to elaborate on the statement.
Mr. Fitzgerald came here from New York. A Brooklyn native who prosecuted top terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden, while in the U.S. attorney's office there, he caught the eye of Illinois' then-U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (no relation), who was looking for an outsider to clean up the politically corrupt state.
On that score, Mr. Fitzgerald succeeded brilliantly, steadily whacking away at criminal politicians through Operation Safe Road, Operation Board Games and other corruption probes.
In between, the somewhat reclusive Mr. Fitzgerald found time to get married and served a stint as special prosecutor in the conviction of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.
As best as I can tell, Mr. Fitzgerald never played political favorites, going after Republican Mr. Ryan and Democrat Mr. Blagojevich with equal vigor. Some defense attorneys said he was too tough — on occasion, they may have been right — but stopping corruption in Chicago is not work for a weakling.