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New Corruption and Crime Fighter Signs On

Former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald finally has a permanent successor. And with Cook County and Illinois corruption, he'll have his hands full.

Zachary Fardon is the new U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Photo courtesy Dept. of Justice.
Zachary Fardon is the new U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Photo courtesy Dept. of Justice.

The Northern District of Illinois has a new United States Attorney as its chief prosecutor of crime and corruption. And because the area includes Cook County and Chicago, it will be a monumental task.

The Huffington Post posed the question of what he should zero in on first: corruption or crime. Because there's so much of each, it's a dilemma.

The Department of Justice released the following statement Wednesday.  

Zachary T. Fardon, who served as a federal prosecutor for nearly a decade before entering private law practice, returned to government service today as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.  Mr. Fardon, 47, took his oath of office from Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ruben Castillo after President Obama signed his commission.

“I am honored and excited to serve as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.  I spent my formative years as a prosecutor in this office, so I feel like I am back home.  This is a great office, full of smart and passionate people.  I look forward to continuing the office’s strong traditions of fairness and excellence in the pursuit of justice on behalf of the nine million residents of the Northern District of Illinois,” Mr. Fardon said.

A public investiture ceremony for Mr. Fardon is planned for the future but no date or details have yet been determined.Gary S. Shapiro, who served as interim U.S. Attorney after Patrick J. Fitzgerald stepped down nearly 16 months ago, remains First Assistant U.S. Attorney.  Mr. Fardon commended Mr. Shapiro for his stewardship of the office.     

Mr. Fardon leads an office that is widely recognized for numerous significant investigations and prosecutions involving international terrorism and terrorism financing, public corruption, corporate fraud, violent crime, narcotics, and gangs.  As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Fardon manages more than 300 employees, including approximately 170 authorized Assistant U.S. Attorney positions in Chicago and Rockford. 

Mr. Fardon became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago in 1997 and tried several high-profile cases, including the 2005-06 corruption trial against former Illinois Governor George Ryan.  From 2003 to 2006, he served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee in Nashville, where he supervised approximately 30 Assistant U.S. Attorneys in all federal criminal and civil matters.  In 2007, he became a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP, where he chaired the Litigation Department in Chicago. Mr. Fardon was born in Kansas City and raised in Knoxville, Tenn.  He graduated in 1988 from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where he also earned his law degree in 1992.  He is married and has three children.


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