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Patrick Fitzgerald
Patrick Fitzgerald

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News Release

Contact: Melody Mitchell, College of Law
(815) 753-9655

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald
to speak at 13th annual Riley Lecture on Professionalism

DeKalb, Ill. —Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, will present the 13th annual Francis X. Riley Lecture on Professionalism at the Northern Illinois University College of Law, on Friday, April 7, at 2 p.m., in the Francis X. Riley Courtroom, Swen Parson Hall.

As the district's top federal law enforcement official, Fitzgerald manages a staff of more than 300 employees who handle civil litigation, criminal investigations and prosecutions involving federal crimes in 18 Illinois counties across the top tier of the state with a combined population of nine million residents. Since starting in September 2001, Fitzgerald has led significant investigations involving terrorism financing, public corruption, corporate fraud, and violent crime. In December 2003, he was named special counsel to investigate the alleged disclosure of the identity of a purported employee of the Central Intelligence Agency. In Chicago, Fitzgerald has supervised the public corruption investigations Operation Safe Road and Chicago's Hired Truck Program, which has resulted in charges and convictions of more than 100 defendants. Fitzgerald also implemented Project Safe Neighborhoods to reduce gun violence.

Prior to coming to Chicago, Fitzgerald worked 13 years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He served as Chief of the Organized Crime-Terrorism Unit, in addition to holding other supervisory positions during his tenure. Fitzgerald participated in several terrorist trials, including the prosecution of Osama Bin Laden and his associates in the August 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Fitzgerald also assisted in the prosecution of Mafia capo John Gambino and his crew for various crimes.

Among Fitzgerald's awards and honors are the Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service in 1996 and the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service in 2002. Fitzgerald is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1985.

The Francis X. Riley Lecture on Professionalism was established in 1994 to honor Professor Emeritus Riley, who has devoted his life to the law and legal education. The lecture series brings distinguished speakers to NIU Law to discuss current issues relating to the legal profession. Past Riley lecturers include the Honorable Marvin E. Aspen (1994), George E. Bushnell, Jr. (1995), the Honorable Abner J. Mikva (1996), Professor David B. Wilkins (1997), Jerold S. Solovy (1998), Cheryl Niro (1999), Professor Richard C. Boldt (2000), Nancy L. Kaszak, Esquire (2001), Father Robert Drinan (2002), the Honorable Thomas L. Kilbride (2003), Professor Bruce R. Jacob (2004), and Jim Ryan (2005).

This event is free and open to the public.