Durbin, Kirk Meet with U.S. Attorney Nominee Zachary Fardon to Urge Forceful Prosecution of Gun and Gang Violence in Chicago

[CHICAGO] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) today met with U.S. Attorney for the Northern District nominee Zachary Fardon to discuss his confirmation process and the need to prioritize prosecution of violent crime in the U.S. Attorney’s office upon his confirmation. Durbin and Kirk urged Fardon to use the full power of the office to pursue and prosecute violent criminals in Chicago and across the Northern District.


“Zachary Fardon is a dynamic pick for U.S. Attorney for the Northern District, and I hope the Senate moves quickly to confirm him,” Durbin said.  “Mr. Fardon knows Chicago and the challenges our city faces, and I’ve advised him to be ready as soon as he is confirmed to tackle the everyday gang and gun violence plaguing the streets of our city.  He’s assured me that he has discussed the issue with Attorney General Holder and is fully committed to doing so.  I look forward to working with him to improve the safety of communities across the Northern District.”


"I would like to thank Senator Durbin and our joint bipartisan screening committee for all of the effort that went into recommending Zachary Fardon for U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois," Senator Kirk said. “After meeting with Mr. Fardon today, I am more convinced than ever that he is the right choice for northern Illinois' next U.S. Attorney. I believe he is the best pick to build upon Patrick Fitzgerald’s legacy and take down dangerous drug gangs like the Gangster Disciples that threaten our communities."


Following the retirement of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald last year, Durbin and Kirk formed a bipartisan screening panel to select candidates to replace him.  The committee interviewed applicants and formally recommended four finalists, including Fardon, to Durbin and Kirk in October. Over the course of October and November, the Senators reviewed the committee’s findings, conducted additional background research, and interviewed the candidates.  Once those interviews were complete, Durbin and Kirk discussed each candidate and agreed that their search committee’s recommendations represented the four best candidates for the job.  They then forwarded the candidates to President Barack Obama for consideration.


Now that the President has nominated Mr. Fardon, his nomination will be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Durbin is a member, and will receive a vote in the committee. If a nomination is approved by the Judiciary Committee, the nomination will be sent to the full Senate for consideration.


Fardon was born in Kansas City and attended Vanderbilt University for his undergraduate education and for law school.  From 1996-1997, he was an Assistant Public Defender with the Nashville Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office. In 1997, he moved to Chicago and served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District until 2003. Fardon then served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee until 2006. He also served in 2005-2006 as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois to participate on the trial team for the prosecution of Governor George Ryan. He is currently a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP where he has chaired the firm’s Chicago Litigation Department since 2009.