The U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois has addressed questions about his decision to step down from the post. Patrick Fitzgerald (pictured) says his reasons for leaving are two-fold: it is good for the U.S. attorney’s office and good for his family life. “There’s comes a point in time where for me and my family I have to figure out what I’m doing next … and I also know for the office it’s important that there be change,” Fitzgerald said. He says that change must come from the top. He believes this is the right time for change within the office.
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As for what he plans to do next, Fitzgerald says he’ll take the summer to think about his future. One thing he is sure about: a run for public office is not in his future. “I’m not wired to campaign for anything or run for elective office, period,” Fitzgerald said. Asked if he could imagine himself as a defense attorney, Fitzgerald didn’t rule it out, but his answer to the question tends to land on the side of no. “I respect what defense attorneys do and I don’t know what I’m going to do next, I really don’t,” Fitzgerald said. “And all I know is there are things I’ll feel comfortable with and things I won’t feel comfortable with and I’ll sort that out and I won’t do anything I won’t feel comfortable with because that’s not me and I won’t be very good at it.” On his successor who has yet to be picked, Fitzgerald’s advice is to work closely with and treasure those in the U.S. attorney’s office. Asked what his tombstone should read, Fitzgerald replied, “He tried his best.” Fitzgerald says whatever is next on his plate, he hopes it is in Chicago where he resides with his wife and two children. His last day on the job is June 30.