Attorney General Eric Holder has named Gary Shapiro of Evanston as acting U.S. attorney in Chicago.

Shapiro has been the longtime top deputy to Patrick Fitzgerald, who is stepping down at the end of this week after serving 11 years.

Fitzgerald recommended Shaprio for the interim post.

“I discussed Gary Shapiro with the attorney general several months ago, and he said he had a high regard for him and said he would actively pursue Patrick Fitzgerald’s suggestion,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said at a news conference today.

Fitzgerald, in a statement said, “Gary Shapiro is a prosecutor’s prosecutor. The Office could not be in better hands.”

“As a trial lawyer and organized crime supervisor, he fearlessly pursued mobsters as well as corrupt politicians and union leaders in cases that were historic in significance, Fitzgerald added.

As First Assistant United State Attorney since January 1998, and Criminal Chief for six years
prior to that, Mr. Shapiro supervised a variety of investigations and prosecutions involving international terrorism and terrorism financing, public corruption, corporate fraud, and organized crime, including violent crime and narcotics and gang prosecutions.

Shapiro has worked for the Department of Justice in Chicago since 1972.

Mr. Shapiro, 65, is married and has a daughter and a son-in-law. He was born in New York City and was reared in Dallas. He graduated from Rice University in 1968, and in 1971 from the University of Texas School of Law.

Related stories

Durbin: ‘Bipartisan’ choice sought to succeed U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald (Chicago Sun-Times)

Acting U.S. attorney named as search begins for successor to Fitzgerald (Chicago Tribune)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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