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Tag: Patrick Fitzgerald

Chicago Fed Prosecutors Trying to Determine if ex-Gov Blago Used Influence in College Admissions

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich in happier days

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich in happier days

Some how you figured there might to be more suspicious activity involving ex-Gov. Blagojevich that went beyond his thick indictment. You also figure U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald plans to bury the ex-gov one way or another.

By KAREN ANN CULLOTTA
New York Times
CHICAGO – Federal prosecutors are trying to determine if former Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and his allies used political muscle to influence student admissions at three state universities.

United States Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald issued subpoenas this week seeking admissions office records from the University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University and Southern Illinois University. The request was related to Mr. Blagojevich and three of his co-defendants on criminal corruption charges, William Cellini, Christopher Kelly and Alonzo Monk.

The investigation also seeks records related to Antoin Rezko, a Chicago businessman and political operative, who last June was convicted of fraud and bribery.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald on the Attack About a Book that “Defames Me”

Patrick Fitzgerald/file photo

Patrick Fitzgerald/file photo

Talk to prosecutors around the country and you’ll often hear them say Chicago’s U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is top notch, the gold standard. But Fitzpatrick is obviously worried about protecting that reputation and is going after a book he feels casts him in false light.  It’s an interesting story.

By Michael Isikoff
NEWSWEEK

Patrick Fitzgerald may be the most feared prosecutor in the country, but even as he’s racked up headlines for big-name convictions (Scooter Libby) and indictments (Rod Blagojevich), the hard-charging U.S. attorney from Chicago has been waging a private crusade: trying to kill a book he believes maligns his reputation.

In the past year and a half, Fitzgerald has written four letters to HarperCollins-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.-demanding it “cease publication” and “withdraw” copies of Triple Cross, a 2006 book by ex-TV newsman Peter Lance that criticizes Fitzgerald’s handling of terror cases in New York in the 1990s.

Fitzgerald raised the temperature even more last week, aiming to halt a paperback version. “To put it plain and simple,” he wrote in a June 2 letter obtained by NEWSWEEK, “if in fact you publish the book this month and it defames me or casts me in a false light, HarperCollins will be sued.”

For Full Story

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Says New U.S. Attorneys to be Named Soon

U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan

U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The long awaited replacement of U.S. Attorneys around the country could begin soon. We’ll see how bi-partisan the selections are.

Josh Gerstein of Politico reports that Atty. Gen Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday:
“I expect that we’ll have an announcement in the next couple of weeks with regard to our first batch of U.S attorneys.

“One of the things that we didn’t want to do was to disrupt the continuity of the offices and pull people out of positions where we thought there might be a danger that that might have on the continuity–the effectiveness of the offices.

“But…elections matter–it is our intention to have the U.S. Attorneys that are selected by President Obama in place as quickly as they can.”

So far, for sure, the only Republican appointed U.S. Attorney who is staying on is Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago. That was a no brainer. Jim Letten of New Orleans has a pretty good shot at sticking around.

After that, who knows. U.S. Atty. Mary Beth  Buchanan of  Pittsburgh would like to stay. But that may be pushing the bi-partisan spirit a little too far considering her super-conservative credentials and ties to the Bush administration.

Some lawmakers are getting antsy about the issue.

Gerstein reports that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) at Thursday’s hearing remarked:  “Many jurisdictions are waiting desperately to see what is going to be done. As we understand it, the protocol has been that U.S. Attorneys would hand in their resignations and would give the new administration an opportunity to make new appointments, we don’t see that happening quite fast enough.”

Chicago U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald and FBI Chief Testify in Mob Witness Protection Leak

Patrick Fitzgerald

Patrick Fitzgerald discussing a previous case

Things aren’t looking up for you when a high-profile U.S. Attorney and the special agent in charge of the local FBI testify against you in a federal trial. 

By Robert Mitchum
Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO — When Deputy U.S. Marshal John Ambrose reported to Chicago FBI headquarters on Sept. 6, 2006, he thought he was receiving information on a terrorist fugitive authorities wanted him to pursue.

But when he opened the door of a conference room on the building’s 10th floor, he found the two most powerful men in Chicago federal law enforcement: U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald and Robert Grant, special agent-in-charge of the Chicago FBI office. There was a leak in the witness protection program, they told Ambrose, and investigators had traced the breach to him.

On Monday, Fitzgerald and Grant took turns on the witness stand at Ambrose’s trial, testifying about what happened on that morning 2½ years ago. After being confronted with evidence, Ambrose admitted to telling a family friend about the valuable witness he had protected twice, both officials testified.

“He said, ‘I bleeped up, I shot my mouth off … but it’s not what you think,'” Fitzgerald quoted Ambrose as saying that day.

 Fitzgerald’s nearly four hours of testimony was the centerpiece Monday as Ambrose’s trial entered its second week. Ambrose stands accused of an unprecedented leak of information from the highly confidential witness-protection program while he served on the security detail of hit man-turned-witness Nicholas Calabrese in 2002 and 2003.

Attorneys for Ambrose tried to block Fitzgerald’s and Grant’s testimony in pretrial hearings, arguing that he was not read his Miranda rights before the 2½-hour interview. But U.S. District Judge John Grady ruled that Ambrose’s admissions that day were valid evidence, clearing the way for Monday’s high-powered testimony.

For Full Story

U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald Makes Esquire’s “The List of Men”

img_01381By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who has fashioned himself as a modern day Eliott Ness, finds himself this month in the company of such mega-names as Russell Crowe, the Dalai Lama, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springstein, Bill Clinton and Chris Rock.

Fitzgerald is included in Esquire’s  May issue (it’s on the stands already) in a section “The List of Men”.

Under a rather prominent photo of him, the magazine writes: “When Fitzgerald serves you, consider yourself served. He brought down Scooter Libby, Conrad Black, and then Blago. Wither thou goest, Alberto Gonzales, we all hope Fitz goes with thee.”

Another person who made the list is James Comey, who was deputy Atty. General under Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft.

Of Comey, the magazine wrote:
“This guy dove in front of the pen when Bush’s goons tried to get a hospitalized Ashcroft to reinvent the Constitution while lodged in the haze of a Versed hangover. Bush did it anyway, relegating Comey to being the best damn lawyer in Palookaville. For doing his job. Trying to tell the truth. Google him.”

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to Stay on the Job in Chicago

By Allan Lengel and Jon Perkins
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — As expected, Chicago’s U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald will stay on the job even though he’s a Bush appointee.
NBC’s Pete Williams reported that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) recommended that the newly minted Atty. Gen. Eric Holder keep Fitzgerald.
NBC reported that the suggestion was “positively received”, according to Durbin’s office and the Justice Department.
In the past, presidents have replaced all 93 U.S. Attorneys. But President Obama has indicated that some Republican-appointed U.S. Attorneys might stay on.
In the halls of the Justice Department, there had long been speculation that Fitzgerald would either stay on as U.S. Attorney in Chicago or get a high-ranking job at the Justice Department.
Fitzgerald, 48,  has prosecuted a number of high profile cases. As a special prosecutor temporarily on assignment in Washington, he convicted Scooter Libby. More recently, he filed public corruption charges against the now ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Around the country, the native New Yorker is regarded as a “prosecutor’s prosecutor” among his peers.  Bush appointed him U.S. Attorney in 2001.

Fed. Prosecutors Widen the Net into Allegations of Torture Involving Chicago Cops

By Steve Mills and Jeff Coen
Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors continue to investigate decades-old allegations that Chicago police routinely tortured murder suspects, focusing on a half-dozen detectives following the recent indictment of former Cmdr. Jon Burge, the alleged ringleader, sources said.
Subpoenas served on the city show that prosecutors are looking at detectives long linked to Burge and the South Side precincts where he worked mostly during the 1980s. Among them: former Sgt. John Byrne, considered Burge’s right-hand man, and former detective Peter Dignan.
It is not surprising that the investigation has widened beyond Burge. Last October, when prosecutors announced Burge’s indictment on perjury and obstruction of justice charges, U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald said the charges “should serve as a warning” to those officers who worked for him and took part in alleged brutality.
For Full Story

U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald Named “Fed Of The Year” by ticklethewire.com

By Jon Perkins
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON –Patrick Fitzgerald, the crusading district attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, has been named “Fed of the Year” for 2008 by ticklethewire.com. The designation is given to the federal law enforcement official who has had the most impact on news events over the course of the year.
Fitzgerald’s role as a newsmaker and a “prosecutor’s prosecutor” , widely respected by his peers, makes the 47-year-old the natural choice for this honor .
Fitzgerald has aggressively pursued public corruption and gone after such notables as fundraiser-financier Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who had ties to President-elect Barack Obama and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Rezko was convicted earlier this year.
Fitzgerald’s filing of criminal charges against Blagojevich in early December, charging the Democrat with trying to auction the Senate seat vacated by Obama, sealed the designation for us.
Fitzgerald gained national notoriety for successfully prosecuting Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby on charges related to the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson. LIbby was convicted in March 2007 of perjury and obstruction of justice. President Bush commuted his 30 month prison sentence.