Government
1:40 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Durbin, Kirk will head panel on U.S. Attorney

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., says he and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., will seek an even-handed and bipartisan or nonpartisan replacement for outgoing U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago.

Durbin said the two senators will appoint a six-member committee to screen applicants for the job.

He says it doesn't matter if the next top prosecutor is from Illinois or from the outside, as Fitzgerald was when he was appointed.

Fitzgerald is retiring at the end of this week after 11 years in the post. Asst. U.S. Atty. Gary Shapiro has been named as interim U.S. Attorney at Fitzgerald's suggestion.

Durbin says the committee members could be named within a few days. He and Kirk will interview finalists for the U.S. Attorney post and make a recommendation to the White House.