The Illinois Supreme Court and the legal community are mourning the passing of retired Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald, who passed away Nov. 1 at the age of 74.
Chief Justice Fitzgerald was most recently known for presiding over the Illinois Senate’s trial of impeached former Governor Rod Blagojevich. His supervision of the Senate trial led to the removal of Blagojevich on Jan. 29, 2009, and thus banning the former Governor from ever seeking office in Illinois again.
Fitzgerald served on the state’s highest bench for 10 years, following his 2000 election. Prior to his Supreme Court service, he served as a Cook County judge dealing with a wide variety of cases.
Former Justice Fitzgerald was known as a model jurist for his fairness, impartiality, and his ability to be above reproach. He was especially famous for his ethical standards after he was placed in charge of the Cook County Traffic Division following the now-infamous Greylord scandal, which sent 15 judges to federal prison in the 1980s.