Patrick Fitzgerald is leaving his post as U.S. Attorney on July 1, and while it's still not clear who will permanently replace him, it's at least clear who will act in his stead while U.S. Senator Dick Durbin decides on his successor.
Gary S. Shapiro, 65, who has served as first assistant United States Attorney for the last 14 years, will take over the Northern District Office in an interim capacity, the Justice Department announced Monday. It's a move that drew praise from Fitzgerald himself.
“Gary Shapiro is a prosecutor’s prosecutor. The Office could not be in better hands.” said Mr. Fitzgerald. “As a trial lawyer and organized crime supervisor, he fearlessly pursued mobsters as well as corrupt politicians and union leaders in cases that were historic in significance. In his two decades as Criminal Chief and First Assistant, he has consistently exhibited great leadership and integrity, while providing wise counsel and guidance on a wide variety of cases. Gary has seen it all. The citizens of the Northern District have been very fortunate to benefit from his public service the last 40 years and will be even more fortunate during his service as Acting U.S. Attorney.”
Shapiro, an Evanston native, will be tasked with shepherding the case against Raghuveer Nayak, the erstwhile political fundraiser who was arrested last week and charged in a 19-count indictment with mail fraud, interstate travel in aid of racketeering and filing false income tax returns for 2005 to 2008.
According to a release from the Justice Department, Shapiro has played a major role in supervising a variety of investigations and prosecutions involving international terrorism and terrorism financing, public corruption, corporate fraud, and organized crime, including violent crime and narcotics and gang prosecutions. In addition, he has had significant responsibility for managing more than 300 employees, including approximately 170 Assistant U.S. Attorneys in Chicago and Rockford.
The Northern District of Illinois covers 18 counties across the top tier of the state, with a population of approximately nine million people.