4 interview for top fed job in Chicago

WGN Investigates has learned the names of four people who have been interviewed for the top federal prosecutor’s job in Chicago. They’re all former assistant U.S. Attorneys. Three of them are now working in private practice.

Sources say the four finalists who were interviewed for the position of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois include: John Lausch, Michael Scudder, Andrew Porter and Maggie Hickey. All interviewed with top officials in Washington, D.C. in recent weeks.

John Lausch is currently a partner with Kirkland & Ellis. His bio states Lausch defended BP in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and a former deputy chief in the U.S. Attorney’s office who oversaw organized crime and political corruption prosecutions.

Michael Scudder is a partner with the Skadden law firm. He previously served as general counsel to the National Security Council under President George W. Bush. Scudder’s bio states that he previously defended Toyota against class action lawsuits that resulted from unintended acceleration.

Andrew Porter is a trial lawyer with the Drinker Biddle law firm.  He defends white collar clients and handles corporate investigations. Previously, Porter’s bio states he led the prosecution against more than 100 Chicago Latin King gang members and their associates.

Maggie Hickey currently serves as Governor Bruce Rauner’s executive inspector general. Previously she rose through the ranks of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago eventually overseeing 300 employees.  Prior to that, Hickey was the chief of staff to former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald.

While the four candidates are considered to be on the “short list,” a source cautions it can be difficult to predict the administration’s selection process or timeline.

The need for a new top federal prosecutor arose after the Trump administration abruptly fired more than 40 U.S. Attorneys across the nation.  They had all been previously appointed under the Obama administration.  The four candidates, the Justice Department and the White House all did not to respond to requests for comment.