Former federal prosecutor Zachary Fardon is in line to succeed Patrick Fitzgerald as the next United States Attorney in Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Monday.
Fardon prosecuted former Gov. George Ryan, one of several high public officials to fall from grace in the Land of Lincoln in recent years, and is now doing white collar-defense work as a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP. The Sun-Times Washington bureau chief, Lynn Sweet, reported that Fardon is expected to be nominated by President Barack Obama, now that Fardon’s chief rival, Lori Lightfoot, another former prosecutor, has been eliminated.
About four weeks ago, Fardon and Lightfoot emerged as the final two hopefuls to succeed Fitzgerald in the Northern District of Illinois, as Main Justice reported. Despite Fardon’s moving to the top of the list, “a White House official told the Sun-Times on Sunday that ‘nothing is a done deal at this point,’” Sweet reported. “In any event, an announcement is not imminent, the source said — with any official word at least two weeks away and maybe more.”
The Sun-Times said Fardon could not be reached for comment. Raised in Tennessee, Fardon received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in 1988 and his law degree from the same school in 1992 and now teaches trial advocacy at Northwestern’s Law School, the Sun-Times said.
Fardon was a prosecutor in the Middle District of Tennessee as well as in Chicago. He is described by friends as having a Southern, down-home way, “a Jimmy Stewart manner,” as one put it. It is fair to say that the intense, Brooklyn-bred Fitzgerald, now a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, was not described quite that way in his 11 years as top federal prosecutor in the Windy City.