Politicians were dancing and singing all in Chicago after U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announced he would step down, says Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass. “I can hear the champagne corks popping all the way over here, and I’m in Virginia,” said banker and Illinois’ former U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (no relation), the Republican who sacrificed his political career by recommending Pat Fitzgerald. Patrick Fitzgerald, the political untouchable who terrified the bipartisan Combine that runs Illinois, spent nearly 11 years fighting corruption and crime here. He’s served enough. He and his wife have two young children. Balancing the prosecutor’s job and a family has got to be impossible.
The score card: Two successive governors in prison on corruption charges, the bosses of the Chicago Outfit, and other crooked payrollers too numerous to count. “Pat Fitzgerald went after corruption. He was untouchable. The Combine couldn’t get near him. He put the blindfold back on justice in Chicago,” Peter Fitzgerald said. “He went after wrongdoing wherever he found it, high and low, at City Hall, in the Republican White House, regardless of politics. He was really something special.” Pat Fitzgerald will step down officially June 30. Speculation involves whether he’ll be named FBI director, a job he wanted. Peter Fitzgerald was inspired to find an untouchable after reading the biography of Chicago Tribune publisher Col. Robert McCormick. The Colonel was warring with Al Capone and asked President Herbert Hoover to send untouchables to hunt down the gangster.