Daniel Patrick Fitzgerald
Republican candidate for Cook County Circuit (13th Subcircuit (Lawrence Vacancy district)
Responses to our questions
Please submit an essay that explains your legal background, why you are qualified for this position and why you seek this position.
I am an accomplished litigation attorney with over 25 years of experience in public and private practice, including serving in the Attorney General's office, clerking under a Cook County Judge, and serving as General Counsel to multiple state agencies.
Upon graduating law school, I had the opportunity to clerk under a Cook County Circuit Court Judge in the Chancery Division. After that experience, I joined the Illinois Attorney General's office as an Assistant Attorney General. I served as a litigation attorney handling hearings and trials at the administrative, state, and federal levels.
Serving under Attorney General Jim Ryan gave me my foundation, instilling in me principles that have stuck with me my entire life. After six years in the Attorney General's office, I was called on by the Governor to serve the state in an official capacity. I served as Chief Legal Counsel for the Office of the Inspector General and Chief of the Bureau of Administrative Litigation in the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. In this capacity, I provided legal advice to the Inspector General's office on healthcare regulatory and compliance matters.
I also participated in civil prosecutions and litigation enforcement actions against Medicaid providers, working with the US Attorney's Office and the Illinois Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to root out Medicaid fraud and abuse. In 2004 alone, I helped secure over 75 sanctions, resulting in the removal of over 20 fraudulent providers from the Illinois Medicaid Program and the recovery of over $24 million for Medicaid.
I also served as General Counsel and Legislative Liaison for the Illinois Racing Board. I currently work as Senior Counsel for Walgreens, handling complex litigation across the nation and providing legal advice and counsel on health care litigation and regulatory issues. I also ensure company compliance with various health care laws, and help design and monitor the company's fraud and abuse compliance programs.
I have become a sought after speaker on health care litigation topics, and am regularly invited to speak at national conferences. With an educational background as well-rounded and diversified as my legal experience, I am prepared to serve as judge. I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of Illinois, making the Dean's List five times and graduating with high honors. I earned my JD from the University of Notre Dame, where I won the First Speaker Award twice at the Moot Court Competition and served as President and Treasurer of the Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity.
I then broadened my education and approach by earning my MBA from DePaul University. I have been admitted to the General Bar of the State of Illinois and the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and am a Member of the Federal Trial Bar for the Northern District of Illinois. I am a Member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Northwest Suburban Bar Association. I was elected to serve as Trustee of Barrington Township, where I have served since 2009, and in 2014 I was elected to serve as Republican Committeeman for Barrington Township. I also serve on the University of Illinois College of Business Alumni Association Board of Directors.
I am a lifelong resident of Barrington, where I currently live with my wife of 16 years, Karen, and our two daughters. We attend St. Anne Catholic Church, where I serve as an usher. In our spare time, Karen and I enjoy attending our daughters' school activities, soccer games, and dance recitals. We also enjoy visiting with family and friends and exploring the Cook County Forest Preserves with Holly, our Golden Retriever.
Cook County residents need to know that their court system works for them. As Cook County Judge in the 13th Judicial Subcircuit, I will make sure that our courts are working for the public. We need hard-working, dedicated judges who will move cases and give people their day in court. Citizens should have the opportunity to be heard, especially those awaiting trial, and justice should never be unnecessarily delayed, which is often the case in Cook County.
I will be the hardest working judge in the county, running an appropriate court call and working tirelessly to reduce the county's backlog of cases. I have had the privilege of sitting on committees that have evaluated judges, and in every instance one of the most important qualities identified for any judge is "judicial temperament." Judges need to be approachable, professional in their demeanor, objective, and decisive. Over the years, I have worked with and appeared before many judges who have proper judicial temperament, and sadly some who do not. P
eople dread going to courtrooms where judges do not embody these necessary qualities. I believe I have the proper judicial temperament to serve as judge, and I will strive to run a courtroom where people recognize that they can trust their judge to do what is right and equitable, and do so in a respectful way. I believe in our legal system, the rule of law, the supremacy of facts, and the need for the fair administration of justice.
I believe strongly that judges ought to apply the law, not make or rewrite the law to fit their viewpoints. Unfortunately, all too often in Cook County, our judges are not following these principles. You can count on me to be fair and impartial, with no vested interest in who wins. I will simply apply the rule of law to the facts, and make decisions in a thoughtful and objective manner.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
For more than 20 years, I was a season subscriber to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.