Jan
03
2013

Chicago preparing for business as usual, post-Patrick Fitzgerald?

Could be, could be: “The White House is expected to name a new U.S. attorney for Chicago soon from among four finalists. Whoever it is will be an insider compared to the man he or she will replace, Patrick Fitzgerald.”  Basically, Fitzgerald is leaving the position after over ten years of putting governors (note plural) and other corrupt Illinois state officials (yes, I know, redundant) behind bars.  And it’s… interesting… that this tradition is not scheduled to continue: all four possible replacements are fully integrated into the Chicago power structure.  As ABC News noted, this is not likely to be accidental:

Appointing someone with Chicago ties may convey confidence that Chicago is no longer as corrupt as it was, said Gal Pissetzky, another Chicago attorney. He said it could signal a desire to shift focus away from corruption and on to other persistent Chicago crime, such as drug trafficking or gang-related murders.

“Chicago is no longer as corrupt as it was.”  I have difficulty even typing that out without breaking into cynical laughter.  This, in an atmosphere where Alderman Sandy Jackson (yes, Jesse Jackson Jr’s wife) is allegedly skimming off money from her disgraced husband’s campaign funds, and the Chicago police department just recently got formally called out for trying to cover up a vicious drunken beating done by one of its police officers.  It would in fact be more accurate to say that the atmosphere in the Chicago US Attorney’s Office is about to change, rather than the atmosphere in the City of Chicago itself…

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: I am sure that we will all be happy to be pleasantly surprised if the next US Attorney for Chicago will turn out to be happy to keep throwing corrupt Illinois politicians in jail.  But if he or she does do that, it will in fact be a bit of a surprise.  The Illinois Combine knows how to out-wait people, it appears.

PPS: The fact that Barack Obama is not appointing another fire-breathing outsider for this position should be… diagnostic.

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