By Jayette Bolinski
Illinois Statehouse News
CHICAGO — A federal prosecutor with 40 years of experience was named interim U.S. attorney for Chicago June 25.
Gary S. Shapiro, who spent the past 14 years as first assistant U.S. attorney, will take over July 1 as interim U.S. attorney.
State officials continue to search for a permanent replacement for outgoing U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald’s last day is June 30. He has been U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois for more than 10 years, during which time he oversaw many high-profile public corruption investigations, including those of former governors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich.
Shapiro, 65, of Evanston, Ill., has been first assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago since 1998. He supervised numerous investigations and prosecutions involving international terrorism and terrorism financing, public corruption, corporate fraud and organized crime.
Shapiro has been with the U.S. Department of Justice since 1972. From 1984 to 1990, he was in charge of all organized crime prosecutions in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
In a news release, Fitzgerald said: “Gary Shapiro is a prosecutor’s prosecutor. The office could not be in better hands. As a trial lawyer and organized crime supervisor, he fearlessly pursued mobsters as well as corrupt politicians and union leaders in cases that were historic in significance.”
Shapiro is married and has an adult daughter. He was born in New York City and grew up in Dallas. He is a 1968 graduate of Rice University in Houston and a 1971 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is leading the process to find a U.S. attorney. He has said he is working with Illinois’ junior senator, Mark Kirk, R-Ill., to find a nominee upon which they both agree. It is unclear when a nomination will occur.
Posted June 26, 2012