The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved President Barack Obama's nominee to be the next chief federal prosecutor in Chicago.
Obama chose Zachary Fardon in May to head the U.S. Attorney's Office for northern Illinois. Fardon is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the district and the Middle District of Tennessee. He would replace Patrick Fitzgerald, who left the post in June after nearly 11 years of helming politically connected convictions that included former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, former Gov. George Ryan, Ed Vrdolyak, Robert Sorich and Al Sanchez.
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Mark Kirk praised the committee's decision.
“[Fardon's] range of experience will serve him well in a city and region as diverse and challenging as the Northern District," Durbin said. "With his nomination now before the full Senate, I’ll work with Senator Kirk to push for confirmation as quickly as possible. Once confirmed, he’ll have to immediately focus on the gun violence plaguing Chicago.”
"He will be a fearless U.S. Attorney who takes on dangerous drug gangs and continues Patrick Fitzgerald's legacy against public corruption of our elected officials," Kirk said. "Sen. Durbin and I are united in working to ensure his quick confirmation by the full Senate.”
The full Senate will vote next, possibly just days from now.
Before entering private practice, the 46-year-old Fardon, as a prosecutor, helped convict ex-Illinois Gov. George Ryan for corruption.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.