John Lausch resigns as US attorney for Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, Mike Madigan among his big cases

Chicago US Attorney John Lausch formally 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 US Attorney’s Office in Chicago,” Lausch said in a written 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 is 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.

The role of interim US attorney will be filled by Morris Pasqual, who has been the first assistant US attorney.

“John Lausch has served the citizens of the Northern District of Illinois and the United States with magnificent distinction,” Pasqual said in a written statement.

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 time off before considering his career options.

Lausch was sworn in on Nov. 22, 2017, after being appointed by President Donald Trump.

Among the key cases during his tenure was the blockbuster racketeering indictment a year ago against former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. That capped a yearlong investigation into old-school Chicago politics that also resulted in the indictment of Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) and 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 Ald. Danny Solis (25th) was revealed by the Sun-Times to have been working 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.

A search for a permanent successor to Lausch is underway. US Sen. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth said they “will work to ensure that the next US 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 been calls for diversity when it comes to Lausch’s successor.

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