President Obama Nominated Fardon from Group of Four Finalists; Illinois Senators Praise Pick
Washington, D.C. â€“ President Obama has nominated Zachary Fardon to be the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) said. Fardon, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois and the Middle District of Tennessee, made a name for himself prosecuting violent crimes and pursuing public corruption. He currently serves as a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP in Chicago.
“I am thrilled Zachary Fardon is our nominee to be the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois,” Senator Kirk said. “Fardon is an outstanding pick to continue Patrick Fitzgerald’s tradition of aggressively prosecuting criminal activity that threatens northern Illinois and lead our state in the fight against dangerous drug gangs and gun violence. Northern Illinois deserves only the best nominee for this position, and the selection of Mr. Fardon is a testament to the success of a bipartisan approach. I thank Senator Durbin for his partnership in this effort, as well as our screening committee and committee co-chairs, David Coar and Mark Filip. I look forward to working with Mr. Fardon to round-up and eliminate the Gangster Disciples from Chicago’s streets.”
â€œZachary Fardon will be an exceptional U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois,â€ Durbin said. â€œHis range of experience will serve him well in a city and region as diverse and challenging as the Northern District. Heâ€™ll have to hit the ground running and immediately focus on daily gang and gun violence plaguing the streets of Chicago. I know he can do it and will lead the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s office with independence, integrity and distinction.â€
Both Senators thanked their bipartisan screening panel and the other well qualified applicants.
Zachary Fardon was born in Kansas City and attended Vanderbilt for his undergraduate education and for law school. From 1996-1997, he was an Assistant Public Defender with the Nashville Metropolitan Public Defenderâ€™s Office. In 1997, he moved to Chicago and served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District until 2003. Fardon then served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee until 2006. He also served in 2005-2006 as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois to participate on the trial team for the prosecution of Governor George Ryan. He is currently a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP where he has chaired the firmâ€™s Chicago Litigation Department since 2009.
Fardon was one of four finalists sent to the White House for consideration by Senators Durbin and Kirk. The others were Jonathan Bunge, Lori Lightfoot and Gil Soffer. The four finalists were the same as those recommended by the Senatorsâ€™ non-partisan screening committee. The non-partisan screening committee was empaneled in July of 2012 and asked to aid Senators Durbin and Kirk in the search for the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District.
The panel was co-chaired by the Honorable David Coar, former U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, and the Honorable Mark Filip, former Deputy Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice and former U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. The committee included Zaldwaynaka (â€œZâ€) Scott, an attorney and former criminal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office for the Northern District of Illinois; Christina Egan, also an attorney and former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office for the Northern District of Illinois; Terence MacCarthy, the former Executive Director of the Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Illinois; and Lawrence Oliver II, Chief Counsel at the Boeing Company and a former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
The committee interviewed applicants and formally recommended the finalists to Senators Durbin and Kirk in October. Over the course of October and November, Durbin and Kirk reviewed the committeeâ€™s findings, conducted additional background research, and interviewed the candidates. Once those interviews were complete, Senators Durbin and Kirk discussed each candidate and agreed that their search committeeâ€™s recommendations represented the four best candidates for the job. A copy of the screening committeeâ€™s recommendations to Senators Durbin and Kirk is attached.
Now that President has nominated Mr. Fardon, his nomination will be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Durbin is a member, and will receive a vote in the committee. If a nomination is approved by the Judiciary Committee, the nomination will be sent to the full Senate for consideration.
On average, it takes between two and four months to confirm a U.S. Attorney once that nomination is sent to the Senate. Until a nominee is confirmed by the Senate, Gary Shapiro will continue to serve as Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.