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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Fitz in Vanity Fair

It's been a Plame-starved few weeks I know. Thanks to Jinny this evening I'm reading through the rather lengthy Vanity Fair article on Patrick Fitzgerald and I'll have more later, but in the meantime I thought this was rather touching:
Fitzgerald showed and instant aptitude for trial work; he was not one of those anal-retentive types who had to write everything out beforehand. And as disheveled as his files and personal life sometimes seemed, his brain was a marvel of organization. In 1993 he handled his first big case, of Mob bigwigs John and Joseph Gambino, associates of John Gotti's, charged with murder, racketeering, and narcotics trafficking. After a four-month trial -- during which Mob turncoat Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano testified -- a lone holdout hung the jury. So devastating was the outcome that Fitzgerald went into a deep funk and considered changing careers. (To avoid a re-trial, the two mobsters eventually pleaded guilty to lesser charges.)

By this point, Fitzgerald's mother had died and his father had Alzheimer's disease; still, when then attorney general Janet Reno gave Fitzgerald an award for his work on the Gambino case, he brought his father, then only intermittently lucid, with him to Washington and posed with him by the bust of one of the elder Fitzgerald's heroes, Robert Kennedy, in the Justice Department's courtyard. It was a moment that few there could forget. Invariably bringing his office work with him, Fitzgerald took terms with his siblings caring for his father at his home in Brooklyn until his death.
I've heard people say that Fitz believes his parents never understood his decision to pursue the job of a prosecutor rather than a high-priced New York attorney. The need to try and explain to your parents a decision you know in your heart they would be proud of if only they could understand, even when they are probably past the point of being able to do so, is both moving and telling.