Jonathan Bunge ’88, Lori Lightfoot ’89 Among Possible Replacements for Fitzgerald as U.S. Attorney

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk are sending four names to President Barack Obama on Monday to replace Patrick Fitzgerald as the U.S. attorney in Chicago.

The four --Jonathan Bunge, Zachary Fardon, Lori Lightfoot and Gil Soffer--are all partners in Chicago law firms with experience as federal prosecutors in Chicago...

Durbin stressed that he and Kirk worked to make the finalist list a bi-partisan effort, so the same names would be sent to the White House no matter who won the November election. "We tried to play this right down the middle," Durbin told me.

The names of the finalists were reported Oct. 30 in the Chicago Sun-Times, with their selection the result of a search and evaluation by a nonpartisan committee appointed by Durbin an Kirk and chaired by lawyers Mark Filip and David Coar...

The search was started last July. The timing of the next phase is up to the White House, which will then vet, or investigate the prospects before Obama taps a nominee. The next step is for the nomination to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee--of which Durbin is a member.

From the time Obama sends a nominee to the committee to confirmation could take between two and four months...

Filip and Coar called their picks a "consensus" decision in an Oct. 9 letter to Durbin and Kirk. "All have federal prosecutorial experience. None is a career prosecutor only -each has done criminal defense work after having served as a prosecutor. It was the committee's view that the broad range of practical legal experiences of each applicant represented an important asset for a U.S. attorney," the letter said.

"All have good reputations in the legal community. All share the believe (though with slightly differing ordering) that the primary subject matter concerns of the office" should be, the letter said-- ranking them-- violence and drugs followed by public corruption, financial crimes and terrorism.

The contenders:

Bunge is a former deputy chief of the U.S. attorney's general crimes section in Chicago. He now is a partner with Kirkland & Ellis in the law firm's Chicago office. Bunge attended Princeton and the University of Chicago Law School...

Lightfoot is a former federal prosecutor in Chicago and former chief administrator at the Chicago Police Department's Office of Professional Standards. Lightfoot is a partner with the Chicago law firm with the Mayer Brown. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. She is the only woman and minority on the list.