Chicago illinois

Chicago’s second federal prosecutor joins Skadden

(Reuters) – John Kocoras, the second-in-command of the Chicago U.S. Attorney’s Office, is joining Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as a litigation partner in his Windy City office, the firm said on Monday.

Kocoras joined the office as its first associate U.S. attorney in 2018 after nine years as a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery and nearly four years at Kroll, a consulting firm.

Working under U.S. Attorney John Lausch, Kocoras helped oversee an office of about 160 attorneys in its civil and criminal divisions in Chicago and Rockford, Illinois.

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At Skadden, Kocoras will reunite with Patrick Fitzgerald, who served as a U.S. attorney in Chicago from 2001 to 2012. Kocoras worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in the office from 2000 to 2005.

“Pat Fitzgerald has been a wonderful mentor to me and I have the deepest respect for him,” Kocoras said. “He supported me as I explored the opportunity within the company.”

Kocoras said he intended to move to Skadden and the private practice would be permanent, calling it “a place where I would have the privilege of spending the rest of my career.”

The Chicago U.S. Attorney’s Office is known for its work investigating and prosecuting public corruption in Illinois. On Friday, the last day of Kocoras, the office announced a new conspiracy charge against former Illinois President Michael Madigan.

Madigan, once the most powerful politician in the state, was charged in March with 22 counts of racketeering and corruption. Prosecutors said Friday that AT&T Illinois paid one of Madigan’s allies $22,500 under the guise of lobbying, which was never done. The company sought to influence the passage of the legislation by the Illinois General Assembly, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors accused former AT&T Illinois President Paul La Schiazza for conspiring to illegally influence Madigan; La Schiazza did not respond to a request for comment. AT&T Illinois has admitted to arranging the payments and will pay $23 million as part of a deferred prosecution agreement.

Kocoras declined to discuss the indictments and said the timing of his departure was coincidental.

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Former Chicago prosecutor Fitzgerald joins Skadden

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