Departing US Atty. Fitzgerald says he's not 'wired' for elective office

May 24, 2012

Reporting from WBEZ's Robert Wildeboer used in this report.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says he will not run for elective office. That comes after the highly respected federal prosecutor announced yesterday that he'll step down at the end of June.

In a 35-minute press conference today the media-averse Fitzgerald talked to reporters about why he's stepping down.

"Am I rushing out in the eleventh year of my four-year term?  That sort of tells you something," Fitzgerald said.  "I've been squatting for 7 years."

Fitzgerald says term limits serve a purpose and it will be good for the office to have a new leader. He says he just knows it's a good time to move on even if he can't fully articulate why.

As for a career in politics? He's firmly against it.

"I'm not wired to campaign for anything or run for elective office, period," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald says it's important to have honest elected officials, and he says we have many, but that's not the job for him. However, he also says he loves public service and would carefully consider any government jobs that might be offered.