U.S. Attorney Biography
Patrick J. Fitzgerald
Patrick J. Fitzgerald began serving as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois on September 1, 2001. The United States Senate confirmed his nomination by unanimous consent and President Bush signed his commission on October 29, 2001.
Mr. Fitzgerald served on the Attorney General's Advisory Committee from 2001-2005 and was Chair of the sub-committee on terrorism. He is also a member of the President's Corporate Fraud Task Force. In December 2003, he was named Special Counsel to investigate the alleged disclosure of the identity of a purported employee of the Central Intelligence Agency.
As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Fitzgerald serves as the district's top federal law enforcement official. He manages a staff of more than 300 employees, including approximately 161 Assistant U.S. Attorneys, who handle civil litigation and criminal investigations and prosecutions involving public corruption, narcotics trafficking, violent crime, white-collar fraud and other federal crimes. The Northern District of Illinois covers 18 northern Illinois counties across the top tier of the state, with a population of approximately nine million people. The district has a branch office in Rockford staffed by seven attorneys.
During the last four years, Mr. Fitzgerald has provided leadership and played a personal role in many significant investigations involving terrorism financing, public corruption, corporate fraud, and violent crime, including narcotics and gang prosecutions.
In Chicago, Mr. Fitzgerald has supervised the continuing public corruption investigation known as Operation Safe Road, which began in 1998, and which resulted in the convictions of approximately 73 defendants, including more than 30 public employees and officials. Since January 2004, he has overseen an investigation of the City of Chicago's Hired Truck Program in which three dozen defendants have been charged, including approximately 20 current or former city employees, and two dozen defendants have been convicted. Mr. Fitzgerald has also committed himself personally to the implementation of Project Safe Neighborhoods as part of a concerted effort with the Chicago Police Department and other state and federal law enforcement agencies to reduce gun violence.
Mr. Fitzgerald also served as trial counsel in United States v. Arnaout, in which the executive director of Benevolence International Foundation, Inc., a charitable organization based in south suburban Chicago, was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Arnaout pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy for fraudulently obtaining charitable donations to provide financial assistance to persons engaged in violent activities overseas, including to fighters in Chechnya and Bosnia, instead of using donations strictly for peaceful, humanitarian purposes.
Prior to coming to Chicago, Mr. Fitzgerald served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York for 13 years. He served as Chief of the Organized Crime-Terrorism Unit, in addition to holding other supervisory positions during his tenure in that office.
In New York, Mr. Fitzgerald participated in the prosecution of United States v. Usama Bin Laden, et al., in which 23 defendants were charged with various offenses, including conspiracy to murder United States nationals overseas and the August 1998 bombings of the United States embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Four defendants went on trial in January 2001 in New York and four months later a jury returned guilty verdicts against all four. The defendants were sentenced to life in prison.
Mr. Fitzgerald also participated in the trial of United States v. Omar Abdel Rahman, et al., a nine-month trial in 1995 of 12 defendants who participated in a seditious conspiracy that involved the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and a plot to bomb the United Nations, the FBI building in New York, and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, as well as a conspiracy to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. He also supervised the case of United States v. Ramzi Yousef, et al., the 1996 prosecution of three defendants who participated in a conspiracy in the Philippines in late 1994 and early 1995 to detonate bombs simultaneously on 12 American airliners. In 1993, Mr. Fitzgerald participated in the six-month trial of United States v. John Gambino, et al., the prosecution of a Gambino crime family capo and his crew for narcotics trafficking, murder, racketeering, jury tampering and other charges.
Among Mr. Fitzgerald's awards and honors are the Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service in 1996, the Stimson Medal from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York in 1997 and the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service in 2002.
Mr. Fitzgerald, 44, is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. He joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan in 1988 after three years as a litigation associate at the New York law firm, Christy & Viener. He graduated from Amherst College, Phi Beta Kappa, with a bachelor's degree in economics and mathematics in 1982, and from Harvard Law School in 1985.