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Quinn Appoints Former US Attorney To U of I Board

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    Former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has another new job while the state continues to pin down a replacement for his old job.

    Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday announced he appointed Fitzgerald to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Fitzgerald left his U.S. Attorney 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.

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    “Patrick Fitzgerald has served the people of Illinois well and he will be an outstanding member of our outstanding leadership team at Illinois’ flagship university,” Quinn said.

    Though Fitzgerald was tight-lipped last year on his future in law or even politics, he took a job as partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's Chicago office on Oct. 29. He said at the time he picked Skadden because of its global reach and the opportunity to do public-interest work.

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    Meanwhile a replacement for his old job is up for grabs.

    Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk last month sent the names of four finalists to the White House for consideration. The White House will select a finalist, then send the name to the Senate for approval.

    The short list of names includes Lori Lightfoot, Jonathan Bunge, Zach Fardon and Gil Soffer. If Lightfoot is chosen, the former assistant U.S. attorney and current Mayer Brown partner would be the first female and first African American to hold the spot.

    “Each brings a range of legal and professional experience to the table as prosecutors, lawyers in private practice and managers of large organizations," Durbin said. "These finalists know our city and State well and understand the unique challenges that the office of U.S. Attorney faces."