Senate confirms Evanston resident Zachary Fardon as U.S. attorney

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Senate confirms Evanston resident Zachary Fardon as U.S. attorney

Zachary Fardon

Zachary Fardon

Source: Main Justice

Zachary Fardon

Source: Main Justice

Source: Main Justice

Zachary Fardon

Patrick Svitek, City Editor

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The U.S. Senate on Wednesday night confirmed Evanston resident Zachary Fardon as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, filling the position more than 15 months after his predecessor stepped down.

Fardon, a Chicago lawyer who helped prosecute former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, replaces acting U.S. attorney Gary Shapiro, another Evanston native. Shapiro took office last summer when Patrick Fitzgerald ended his nearly 11-year tenure, the longest term for a U.S. attorney in Chicago.

Fardon will oversee more than 300 employees, including 170 assistant U.S. attorneys, and serve about 9 million people spread across 18 counties.

“There is no doubt that Zachary Fardon is the right fit to be Northern Illinois’ next U.S. Attorney,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said in a news release Wednesday night. “His unanimous approval by the U.S. Senate today is a bipartisan testament to his integrity, experience, and reputation as a crime fighter.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Kirk expect Fardon to tackle gang and gun violence in Chicago, where the homicide total topped 500 last year. Durbin said he hopes Fardon will “immediately focus” on public safety.

President Barack Obama nominated Fardon in May, saying Fardon would be “unwavering in his commitment to justice.” Fardon found another powerful supporter in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“I look forward to working with him on the important matters facing our city, including our ongoing efforts to reduce violence, combat gangs and gang crimes, and take illegal guns off of our streets,” Emanuel said in a statement at the time.

Fardon huddled with Durbin and Kirk in May to talk about his confirmation process and potential goals as U.S. attorney. The lawmakers emerged from the meeting confident Fardon would take on crime in Chicago.

“Mr. Fardon knows Chicago and the challenges our city faces,” Durbin said in a news release at the time, “and I’ve advised him to be ready as soon as he is confirmed to tackle the everyday gang and gun violence plaguing the streets of our city.”

A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Fardon first came to Chicago in 1997 to serve as the assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. In 2003, Fardon returned to Tennessee to take the No. 2 job in the U.S. attorney’s office in Nashville. Ryan’s corruption trial in 2005 and 2006 brought Fardon back to Chicago, where he most recently was a partner at the law firm Latham & Watkins.

Email: patricksvitek2014@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @PatrickSvitek

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