John Kass and Rick Pearson on Patrick Fitzgerald's shadow on Illinois politics

When U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announced he'd be retiring after 10 years of major cases in Illinois -- which included the successful prosecutions of two consecutive Illinois governors -- the story became one of the top-read and most-frequently commented-upon stories online for the Chicago Tribune.

Tribune political reporter Rick Pearson and columnist John Kass said they wondered how many Illinois politicians must be reacting:

"A big sigh of relief," said Pearson. Kass noted that the announcement Fitzgerald would leave the office was good for Pat and, he suspects, for the "in crowd" of established political forces who may not want as effective and independent a voice in the job as Patrick Fitzgerald has been.

"I have my doubts as to whether the senators now vetting will look for an untouchable," Kass says in the video. "Pat Fitzgerald did not go after the low-hanging fruit."

Here's what Kass had to say. Here are Rick's remarks. And here's the staff reported story we ran on Wednesday. Fitzgerald steps down on June 30.

-- Trib Nation