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Robert Grant, top FBI agent in Chicago, to retire

Robert Grant Special Agent-in-Charge Chicago office FBI announced his retirement

Robert Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI, announced his retirement

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Updated: September 1, 2012 6:12AM

The city’s longest-serving FBI chief is retiring — just one month after the city’s top federal prosecutor stepped down.

Robert D. Grant, 54, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office, has accepted a job with the Walt Disney Company in Los Angeles, where he will be part of their “Global Security Team,” according to the FBI.

“I have witnessed the FBI do some amazing things,” Grant said in a written statement Monday. “It has grown and stretched in ways I never thought possible. What I have come to realize is there is almost nothing the FBI cannot do when it sets a proper course and supports its tremendous people. There isn’t a day that goes by where I am not impressed and amazed at the work of the men and women of this organization, who I will miss greatly.”

Grant’s FBI career spanned 29 years, beginning in 1983 and including several different assignments at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. Grant took the helm in Chicago, the FBI’s oldest field office, in January 2005.

Grant worked alongside U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald — who retired last month, saying he wanted to spend time with his family and then consider his future — to head investigations that led to the arrest of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges and the racketeering indictment and conviction of numerous high-ranking members of the Chicago Mafia as part of the “Family Secrets” case. Under Grant’s direction, the FBI arrested two Chicago men on charges related to the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India.

Retired FBI supervisor Pete Cullen spent 5 1/2 years working under Grant, including as the agent in charge of monitoring wire taps on phones belonging to Blagojevich and his inner circle.

Cullen’s work helped lead to Blagojevich’s arrest in December 2008.

Cullen described his former boss as “hands-on,” “smart” and someone who asked “probing questions” about an investigation, but who didn’t interfere with his agents’ work.

“Investigations take a long time — they run over a period of years — and the man at the top has to be able to track those investigations and make sure resources are being fully utilized,” Cullen said. “Otherwise, you could be spinning your wheels.”

Cullen said he expects Grant to be remembered as one of the city’s “finest” FBI chiefs.

“He stayed for seven years — that’s very unusual for a special agent-in-charge,” Cullen said. “He saw through many of his projects, which some of his other predecessors didn’t have the time to do.”

Grant’s last day is Sept. 3.

Grant’s successor has yet to be chosen. FBI Director Robert Mueller will select an acting Special Agent-in-Charge, and then Grant’s permanent replacement, said FBI spokesman Ross Rice.

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