Fardon’s resignation letter details ‘Top 5’ things to get Chicago to a ‘better place’

Fardon meets with Durbin, Kirk; Gangs topic of discussion

CHICAGO — The U.S. attorney in Chicago who oversaw the prosecution of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has resigned.

A prosecutor’s spokesman in Chicago says Zachary Fardon submitted his resignation Monday. It comes days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked 46 prosecutors who were holdovers from President Barack Obama’s administration to step down.

His letter was then released to the public.

It begins,

Today I submitted my resignation, effective immediately, as United States Attorney in Chicago. As I walk out the door, there are a few things I’d like to say.

I am not a political person. I belong to no political party; never have. I am not a Democrat. I am not a Republican. I am not a liberal. I am not a conservative. I never found a need or interest in associating myself politically. I have no interest in political office.

The 50-year-old assumed Chicago’s No. 1 federal law enforcement job in 2013. He came under pressure to put violent crime at the top of his agenda. But from the start, Fardon tempered expectations about what a U.S. attorney’s office could do.

The letter goes on:

 For the past three and a half years, I’ve been lucky to be in a position of power as the US Attorney in Chicago. That means I’ve gotten to lead what I think is the best prosecutors’ office and maybe the best public office this country has to offer.

During those three and a half years, by my own choice, I focused my greatest attention on violent crime. I came into office in 2013 not long after Hadiya Pendleton was killed by an errant bullet in a public park. Like most folks, I was horrified and confused by Hadiya’s death and the constant drumbeat of seemingly random deaths of so many others, including kids, on the south and west sides of Chicago.

Fardon’s three page letter also discusses at length, “‘Top 5’ things that I think need to happen to get us to a better place.”

Here are my “Top 5” things that I think need to happen to get us to a better place. This list is not exhaustive or magical; it is an honest short list based on my experience over the past years.

  • Number 1, get that Consent Decree.
  • Second, enhance and consolidate federal law enforcement in Chicago.
  • Third, attack social media as the milieu for gun viruses.
  • Fourth, create new youth pathway centers, in the handful of most afflicted neighborhoods, that are not subject to the shifting winds of politics and government.
  • Fifth, fix the bail bond system in Cook County.

Read Zachary Fardon’s entire letter here (pdf)

Fardon’s highest profile prosecution was the one involving Hastert. The Illinois Republican is serving a 15-month prison sentence for breaking banking laws in seeking to pay $3.5 million in hush money someone Hastert sexually abused.