Patrick Fitzgerald Us Attorney Chicago, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said Thursday he is 100 percent confident that leaving his post in Chicago after 11 years is the right decision, but he’s not sure what his future holds.
“I don’t know what I’m doing next, but public service is in my blood,” said Fitzgerald, adding he has had no discussions with the Obama administration about the possibility of becoming FBI director, a job for which his name has surfaced several times. One thing he has ruled out, he said, is running for elective office, saying he is “not wired” for politics.
Fitzgerald spoke to reporters a day after his office issued a statement announcing he would step down at the end of June then take the summer off before considering other job possibilities. He has held the job as top federal prosecutor in Chicago longer than anyone else.
“People have terms for a reason,” said Fitzgerald, 51. “For the office, it’s important that there be change … I think it will be healthy for me to decompress and sort things out during the summer.”
He said any decision would have to be balanced with his family life. He is married to a school teacher and has two young children.
After a high-profile career that spanned nearly a quarter century and included prosecuting terrorists, mobsters, corrupt governors and a presidential aide, Fitzgerald has no shortage of options.
Anton Valukas, who held the same job in the 1980s and now is the chairman of the Chicago law firm Jenner & Block, said the nation’s largest law firms likely will try to recruit Fitzgerald, but that he wouldn’t be surprised if he is considered for a high political post, such as FBI director or U.S. attorney general.
Former Illinois Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, who recruited Patrick Fitzgerald to the Chicago job in 2001, said Fitzgerald may want to spend some time in the private sector, either at a law firm or as general counsel for a Fortune 500 company. Fitzgerald and the former senator are not related.
“He’s done an incredible job and … most of us in this profession think the world’s wide open for him,” said Valukas, who recently completed his examination of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. (AP)