Updated: July 3, 2012 9:18AM
FITZGERALD’S career highlightsJan. 6, 1994
As a federal prosecutor in New York, Fitzgerald helped bring 15-year jail sentences for three mobsters associated with the Gambino crime family, one of New York’s five major mafia families.
Oct. 1, 1995
Prosecuted “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, who, along with 11 co-conspirators, helped mastermind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York. Rahman and his attorney were caught on tape calling Fitzgerald “evil.” The Egyptian-born Abdel-Rahman was also convicted of plotting to blow up the Holland Tunnel and other key sites around New York City.
Sept. 1, 2001
Nominated by President George W. Bush to become U.S. Attorney for Illinois’ Northern District — just days before the attacks of Sept. 11. Coincidentally, Fitzgerald had helped build one of the first criminal cases against Osama bin Laden when Fitzgerald worked in New York. His selection, made by then-Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, was confirmed by the Senate on Oct. 24, 2001.
July 6, 2005
Helped send New York Times reporter Judith Miller to jail for 3 months after she refused to disclose information about her meeting with an unnamed government official (later revealed to be I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby) relevant to outed CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Nov. 18, 2005
Made People Magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” list alongside celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey. “I played a lot of practical jokes on people for a lot of years and they all got even at once,” Fitzgerald said when asked about it at an unrelated news conference. “OK, new topic.”
April 17, 2006
Won conviction of former Gov. George Ryan for political corruption that happened when he was Illinois secretary of state and governor.
July 6, 2006
Secured convictions against four dozen people — including Mayor Richard M. Daley’s patronage chief Robert Sorich for rigging city hiring — in probe tied to the “Hired Truck” scandal.
March 6, 2007
As an appointed special prosecutor, secured conviction against I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, on charges of lying to the feds during an investigation into how Plame’s name was leaked to reporters. Bush later commuted Libby’s prison term.
July 13, 2007
Prosecuted Conrad Black, the media mogul and former owner of the parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times, for defrauding investors.
Sept. 10, 2007
Cleared 18 mob murders in the landmark “Operation Family Secrets” case that took on the Chicago Outfit.June 4, 2008
Secured conviction of Tony Rezko, a Rod Blagojevich fund-raiser and political patron who eventually pleaded guilty to wire fraud, bribery and money-laundering charges.
Nov. 3, 2008
Nailed former Chicago alderman Edward “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak for scheming to defraud the Chicago Medical School.
June 28, 2010
Won conviction of Jon Burge, the notorious former Chicago Police commander, for perjury about police torture.
June 27, 2011
Won conviction of Gov. Rod Blagojevich for a “political corruption crime spree,” including trying to sell the about-to-be-vacant Senate seat of incoming President Barack Obama. In 2008, the then-sitting governor was arrested at his North Side home. During a post-arrest news conference, Fitzgerald declared Blago’s “conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave” and “Gov. Blagojevich has taken us to a truly new low.”
Nov. 1, 2011
Saw a jury convict William Cellini, key Illinois powerbroker and one most powerful men in the state for decades, on extortion and bribery charges.