Chicago’s top federal prosecutor will officially resign his position next week, calling his time as U.S. Attorney in the city the “privilege of a lifetime.”
John Lausch announced he will leave office March 11 after more than five years leading the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. That official move comes weeks after he indicated plans to resign and take a private sector job.
“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,” Lausch said in a statement. “It was 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.”
First Assistant U.S. Attorney Morris “Sonny” Pasqual will assume Lausch’s position on an acting basis.
Before he was appointed to his post, Lausch worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois from 1999 until 2010, when he moved into a private law practice in Chicago.
Since he was sworn into office in November 2017, Lausch has overseen numerous high-profile investigations in Chicago, among them, the indictments of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan on racketeering and bribery charges and longtime Chicago Ald. Ed. Burke. Burke’s trial date is scheduled to begin this coming November, while Madigan is set to go to trial in April 2024.
Lausch also pointed to his office’s efforts to prosecute members of organized street gangs and illegal gun offenders in Chicago and northern Illinois, and he’d been appointed to investigate documents with classified markings discovered as Biden's personal attorneys were clearing out the offices of the Penn Biden Center, where the president kept an office.
“John Lausch has served the citizens of the Northern District of Illinois and the United States with magnificent distinction,” Pasqual said in a statement. “I want to thank John for his tremendous stewardship of the office, and I wish him well in his future endeavors.”