CHICAGO — A Beverly man and a partner at a powerful Downtown law firm was tapped late Thursday by President Donald Trump to be Chicago's new top federal law enforcement officer.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, John Lausch, 48, would replace Zachary Fardon, who served as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 2013 until March, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked all U.S. attorneys hired during the Obama Administration to step down.
A graduate of Joliet Catholic Academy and Harvard University, Lausch served as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1999 to 2010 before becoming a partner at Kirkland & Ellis.
News of Lausch's impending selection by Trump was first reported July 3.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Lausch brought "a strong public safety background to the office."
"It is my hope that he will use the power of that office to increase the federal prosecution of gun crimes in Chicago and strengthen public safety in our communities," Emanuel said.
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both Democrats, said they were pleased with the selection of Lausch, all but assuring his eventual confirmation this fall.
In a joint statement, the senators said Lausch was recommended by a nonpartisan screening committee set up by Durbin and Duckworth to assess the qualifications and fitness for the position of candidates.
"Mr. Lausch has served the people of the Northern District and the cause of justice for years, and we expect him to be a diligent, thoughtful, and principled U.S. Attorney," Durbin and Duckworth said. "We look forward to seeing his nomination through the Senate.”
New presidents typically replace United States attorneys appointed by their predecessors, especially when control of the White House changes from one political party to another.
In 1993, the Clinton administration fired all 93 United States attorneys on the same day.
In the months leading up to his departure, Fardon helped lead the investigation of the Chicago Police by the Department of Justice. That inquiry found the police force routinely violated the civil rights of residents by using excessive force caused by poor training and nonexistent supervision.
After resigning, Fardon left Chicago officials with a detailed look at the violence that he said left many in his office with a "sense of frustration and despair."