U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick J. Fitzgerald, one of the most high profile federal prosecutors in the country, is stepping down from his position after over a decade in the position. His resignation takes effect on June 30.
Fitzgerald, 51, has no future employment plans and will take the summer off before considering career options, his office said in a statement. He has been at the Justice Department for over 24 years and led the investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame's status as a CIA agent and the prosecution of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
“When I was selected for this position in 2001, I said that it was one of the greatest opportunities that one could ever hope for, and I believe that even more now after having the privilege of working alongside hundreds of dedicated prosecutors and agents," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "I have tried not to get in their way. I extend my deepest appreciation to the attorneys and staff for their determined commitment to public service. This was a great office when I arrived, and I have no doubt that it will continue to be a great office.”
Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that Fitzgerald had served with the "utmost integrity and a steadfast commitment to the cause of justice."
“Over the years, he has gained the trust of two presidents and the unwavering confidence of four Attorneys General, and I am deeply grateful to him for his service and his friendship over the years," Holder said.
Fitzgerald has a press conference scheduled for Thursday morning.