President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated former Nashvillian Zach Fardon to succeed Patrick Fitzgerald as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Federal Court in Chicago.
Fardon, whom many considered the frontrunner for the job (read here), once served as an assistant U.S. attorney in both Nashville and Chicago before joining the Windy City-based firm of Latham & Watkins.
If confirmed, Fardon (pictured) will take the reins from long-time prosecutor Gary S. Shapiro, who has served as acting U.S. attorney for the district since Fitzgerald stepped aside on June 30, 2012.
"Zachary Fardon will be unwavering in his commitment to justice, and I am confident he will serve the people of Illinois with excellence," Obama said in a statement.
Fardon is expected to bring federal muscle against violence on Chicago streets, a problem that has reached epidemic proportions in the last year. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel welcomed Fardon's help.
“I look forward to working with him on the important matters facing our city, including our ongoing efforts to reduce violence, combat gangs and gang crimes, and take illegal guns off of our streets,” Emanuel said in a statement.
The job is significant not only because of the city, but also because that office has successfully prosecuted two governors and at least one U.S. congressman in recent years. Fardon himself was involved in the corruption conviction of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan in 2006.
In the midst of that trial, Fardon was also lead prosecutor in the case of Middle Tennessee businessman Al Ganier, friend of former Gov. Don Sundquist, who was investigated for how he won state contracts. Despite an intense federal investigation, Ganier survived a five-year probe that resulted in a misdemeanor conviction, 18 months probation and a $5,000 fine.
Fardon quietly sought the U.S. attorney job for the Middle District of Tennessee, a position that eventually went to Nashville native Ed Yarbrough. He eventually returned to Chicago and private practice. (Read more here.)
A Tennessee native, Fardon is the brother of Alex Fardon, H3GM's head of litigation.