By Jayette Bolinski | Illinois Statehouse News
SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald on Thursday said public service is in his blood but added he has no desire to run for elected office.
“I’m not wired to campaign for anything or run for elective office. Period,” said the long-time federal prosecutor, who is stepping down June 30 from the post he’s had for more than 10 years.
“I love public service. I don’t know what I’m doing next, but public service is in my blood. If a phone rings in the future and the ID says ‘public service calling,’ I’ll answer the phone.”
Fitzgerald, 51, has been the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois since Sept. 1, 2001 — just before the terrorist attacks. He said Thursday he is stepping down because “it’s important there be change” in the office.
He gained statewide and national fame for his successful prosecution of two Illinois governors, George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich, on public corruption charges. Both are serving sentences in federal prisons.
He also was involved in the prosecution of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s top aide; employees of former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley; media mogul Conrad Black; and more.
He said he has no career plans in place and will take the summer off before making his next career move. Fitzgerald is married with two young children.
No replacement has been named for the post.