By Anna Lothson
Zachary Fardon, a Chicago resident and former Oak Parker, was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Fardon has been recognized for his efforts prosecuting violent crimes and pursuing public corruption, according to a joint announcement from U.S. senators Mark Kirk (R) and Dick Durbin (D). A former assistant U.S. attorney in the district, Fardon currently serves as a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP in Chicago.
"[He] is an outstanding pick to continue Patrick Fitzgerald's tradition of aggressively prosecuting criminal activity that threatens northern Illinois and to lead our state in the fight against dangerous drug gangs and gun violence," Kirk wrote in a news release. "Northern Illinois deserves only the best nominee for this position, and the selection of Mr. Fardon is a testament to the success of a bipartisan approach."
Fardon was one of four finalists sent to the White House for consideration by Durbin and Kirk. The four finalists were the same as those recommended by the senators' non-partisan screening committee. The non-partisan screening committee was empaneled in July of 2012 and asked to aid Durbin and Kirk in the search for the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District.
If the president gives his approval, the nomination will be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Durbin is a member, and will be voted on by the committee. If a nomination is approved by the Judiciary Committee, the nomination will be sent to the full Senate for consideration. Until a nominee is confirmed, Gary Shapiro will continue to serve as acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
"Zachary Fardon will be an exceptional U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois," Durbin said in the news release. "His range of experience will serve him well in a city and region as diverse and challenging as the Northern District. He'll have to hit the ground running and immediately focus on daily gang and gun violence plaguing the streets of Chicago. I know he can do it and will lead the U.S. Attorney's Office with independence, integrity and distinction."
Fardon was born in Kansas City and attended Vanderbilt for his undergraduate education and for law school. He was an assistant public defender with the Nashville Metropolitan Public Defender's Office before moving to the Chicago area. He also served as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois to participate on the trial team for the prosecution of former governor George Ryan.