Senators pleased Biden will retain U.S. Attorney, Joliet native until successor is confirmed

Bipartisan members of Congress had urged Administration to allow Lausch to continue work on ‘sensitive investigations’

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch, a native of Joliet, will stay on in his role until a successor is confirmed after much pleading from members of Congress in both parties.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth applauded the news in a joint statement Tuesday. They had both urged the Biden Administration not to replace Lausch earlier this month after it was reported he was asked for his resignation.

“We are pleased the Biden Administration is acting on our request to retain U.S. Attorney Lausch until his successor is confirmed by the Senate,” Durbin and Duckworth said in the statement. “Mr. Lausch has served with professionalism and without partisanship. While the President has the right to remove U.S. Attorneys, there is precedent for U.S. Attorneys in the Northern District of Illinois to remain in office to conclude sensitive investigations. After our repeated calls, we appreciate that Mr. Lausch will be given this opportunity.”

In 2017, Durbin and Duckworth established a committee to screen candidates for the vacant U.S. Attorney spot for the northern district. The committee recommended Lausch, who was unanimously confirmed by a voice vote in the U.S. Senate later that year, according to the senators’ statement.

The senators, as well as Republican members of Congress from Illinois, cited Lausch’s work investigating the year-long bribery scheme which has implicated Michael Madigan, the former speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. Madigan has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing.

Lausch is a Joliet native. He played on the 1987 championship football team at Joliet Catholic High School before going off to study at Harvard University and then to law school at Northwestern University.

He served as the Assistant U.S. Attorney in Northern Illinois from 1999 until 2010. Afterward he worked in a private law practice in Chicago, according to his official biography.

A spokesman for Lausch did not immediately return a request for comment.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.