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Patrick Fitzgerald, the feared Chicago prosecutor who oversaw the convictions of former Illinois governors Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan, is stepping down.
Patrick Fitzgerald, the feared Chicago prosecutor who oversaw the convictions of former Illinois governors Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan, is stepping down, according to several news reports.
Fitzgerald, 51, is also known for obtaining the conviction of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, for lying to authorities about the leaking of a CIA officer's name.
And he prosecuted Al Qaeda figures in the African Embassy bombing trial and Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheik, for the first World Trade Center bombing, winning both cases.
The Atlantic called him a transcendent figure in contemporary American law who "could — and should" be the next US Attorney General, FBI director, or Supreme Court justice.
"The guy's got stones. Major stones," the magazine wrote.
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Having held the post in Chicago for almost 11 years, Fitzgerald notified the White House, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk this morning of his decision, the ABA Journal reported.
The US attorney's office reportedly gave no reason for Fitzgerald's departure.
In a statement, Fitzgerald — originally from Brooklyn, NY — said he had no immediate employment plans and intended to take the summer off, USA Today reported.
"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," the statement reportedly read.
In terms of his political convictions, Blagojevich was jailed on corruption charges, while Ryan was convicted in 2006 on fraud and racketeering charges.
Libby was prosecuted for obstruction, perjury and lying to the FBI about the leaking of CIA officer Valerie Plame's name after her husband, retired diplomat Joe Wilson.
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