Sources say former Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has narrowed his choices for new employment down to three law firms in Chicago, according to a report by The Chicago Sun-Times.
Fitzgerald, whose time in the office was marked with a number of high-profile prosecutions, is reportedly nearing a decision, likely within a week or so, the Sun-Times notes. The longtime prosecutor told reporters he would take the summer to reflect on his future and spend time with his family.
Fitzgerald stepped down in June after more than a decade as the top federal prosecutor in the Northern District of Illinois. At the time, Fitzgerald said he did not envision jumping into politics — “I’m not wired for political office,” he said.
He did note, however, that “public service is in my blood.” His name last year was floated as the next FBI Director, among other top law enforcement posts. But Congress extended the term of current director Robert Mueller until 2013.
Fitzgerald was appointed to the U.S. Attorney position by President George W. Bush after serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted early terrorism cases, becoming an expert on then-budding al-Qaeda. He was appointed a special counsel in 2003 to investigate who leaked covert CIA operative Valerie Plame’s name to the media, eventually charging Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, with obstruction of justice and perjury.
Fitzgerald was one of the few U.S. Attorneys to remain on after President Barack Obama took office. He made his name on coming down hard on public corruption, most notably with the ouster of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Meanwhile, the search to replace Fitzgerald as Chicago U.S. Attorney continues, with federal judge Virginia Kendall going on record that she is under consideration for the highly coveted post. The Illinois senators have formed a search committee to find the next leader of the office.