United States Attorney Zachary Fardon, the top federal law enforcement official in the Northern District of Illinois, presented American Life and Law: Justice in the 21st Century on April 28 during the Ninth Annual Elmhurst College Governmental Forum.
The discussion was moderated by David Yellen, dean of the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and Sergio Acosta, a partner in Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP and an Elmhurst College trustee.
Fardon’s office is widely recognized for numerous significant investigations and prosecutions involving international terrorism and terrorism financing, public corruption, corporate fraud, violent crime and narcotics. In January, his office won a sweeping victory when a jury convicted a former Chicago city official of taking up to $2 million in bribes and gifts in the “red light camera” public corruption case in Chicago.
In his talk, Fardon spoke about the role of his office, the challenges facing the legal system in the 21st century, gang violence and prison reform, among other topics. Speaking about the emerging national dialogue about improving trust between police departments and the communities they serve, he said, "It is a movement, I believe, with nothing less at stake than public safety, effective self-governance, and belief in our system of justice."
The Elmhurst College Governmental Forum is one of the region’s most widely respected venues for the discussion of the vital economic and governance issues facing Illinois. In previous years, the Forum has welcomed U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, former Illinois governors Jim Edgar and James Thompson, Business Roundtable President John Engler, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Michael Madigan and many others.