LAUSCH OFFICIALLY RESIGNS AS U.S. ATTY.
Trump appointee in post 5 years: ‘privilege of a lifetime’
Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch officially announced his resignation Wednesday, weeks after news of his departure was first made public.
“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to lead the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago,” Lausch said in a statement. “I want to thank all of my talented colleagues in the office, as well as our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, for their hard work and dedicated public service during my tenure. It was my honor each and every day to help carry out the office’s mission to uphold the rule of law, keep our country safe, and protect our civil rights.”
Lausch’s resignation is effective March 11. Meanwhile, the role of interim U.S. attorney will now fall to Morris Pasqual, who has been serving as the office’s first assistant U.S. attorney.
“John Lausch has served the citizens of the Northern District of Illinois and the United States with magnificent distinction,” Pasqual said in a statement. “I want to thank John for his tremendous stewardship of the office, and I wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland revealed Lausch’s plan to leave office back in January. A spokesman for Lausch’s office said then that Lausch planned to take some time off before considering his career options.
Lausch was sworn in as U.S. attorney on Nov. 22, 2017, after being appointed by President Donald Trump.
He will almost certainly be remembered for the blockbuster racketeering indictment brought a year ago against former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. That capped a yearslong investigation into old-school Chicago politics that also resulted in the indictment of Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) and several other public officials.
A related trial, in which four people are accused of trying to bribe Madigan to benefit ComEd, is set to begin March 14.
It was also under Lausch that former Chicago Ald. Danny Solis (25th) was outed by the Sun-Times as a government mole. Solis’ cooperation predated Lausch, but the evidence he gathered became key to the indictments of Madigan and Burke during Lausch’s tenure.
Though it may take some time for a permanent successor to be chosen, the search is already underway. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth said in a statement that they “will work to ensure that the next U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois will be a person of outstanding qualifications and integrity.”
The office has been dominated by white males, and there have already been calls for diversity when it comes to Lausch’s successor.