Mar 2, 2007

Daze Of Family And Roses...

you've earned it.

Prosecutor of Ryan, Sorich taking new job
Asst. U.S. Attorney Collins: 'I've given it all I've got'

While dining at the world-famous Charlie Trotter's restaurant, he sat down and asked for a cheeseburger.

Stunned, the chef came out of the kitchen to see who would place such a humdrumorder.

It was Patrick Collins, a star prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago.

"I'm not a guy for fancy food," Collins said.

That might sum up Collins, who in his 12 years as a prosecutor often went up against the elite, took down the powerful, but kept his feet on the ground, colleagues said.

Collins, the lead prosecutor in the conviction of former Gov. George Ryan, announced Thursday he will join the Chicago office of Perkins Coie LLP, based in Seattle. Collins will join as a partner in the firm at the end of this month.

"I've had a wonderful ride. I'm sad to leave, there's no doubt," he said. "I've given it all I've got."

'28 years' worth of work'
Collins, 42, helped lead the Operation Safe Road investigation, which took dozens of unqualified truckers off the highways and exposed widespread corruption in driver's licensing facilities. Last year, he led two complex, high-profile trials that ran back to back: those of Ryan and of Mayor Daley's patronage chief, Robert Sorich.

"Patrick is as close as you come to irreplaceable," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said. "He's very smart, very dedicated, very hardworking, and he just knows how to make a case.

"He's worked here for 12 years. He's probably done 28 years' worth of work."

The decision to make the switch to the private sector was a struggle for Collins. He won over trial juries with a sincere, down-to-earth but meticulous style.

He argued his cases alternately with light humor and zeal. He once told a nun who took the witness stand it was every Catholic schoolboy's dream to cross-examine her, leaving jurors chuckling.

In closing arguments for the Ryan trial, Collins exploded with raw anger over what he called layers of hidden corruption in the secretary of state's office.

"He doesn't try to be someone he's not," Fitzgerald said. "He's just himself, Patrick Collins. I think juries see that. He's very genuine."

Collins, who also headed the successful Hired Truck probe and the continuing investigation into City Hall hiring, said 2006 took its toll.

"My family's been through the wringer. This last year was probably more than I should have done," said Collins, a father of three.

The Ryan and Sorich sentencing hearings were probably the toughest part of his job, he said. "I've never liked sending people to jail. That stuff wears on me."

Money only one factor
While other law firms tried to court Collins and his prized trial expertise, he chose Perkins Coie, he said, because of the kind of work the firm has accomplished, including that on behalf of Guantanamo detainees. For the last five years, Fortune magazine has rated Perkins Coie one of the 100 best companies.
Collins, who has a strong charitable side, having founded Horizons for Youth, a not-for-profit youth group, said he'll do some pro bono work at the firm. The Chicago native will primarily handle complex commercial litigation and internal investigations for corporations like Starbucks.

"Patrick is one of the best trial lawyers in the country," Chicago managing partner Christopher Wilson said.

Collins said money was a factor in his departure, but not the only reason. The average U.S. prosecutor makes less than $150,000. New law firm associates make $145,000, and top partner salaries can reach the multiple millions, said Karen Hoppe, legal consultant with Credentia Inc.

During Patrick Collins' tenure in the U.S. attorney's office, he helped lead some of the highest-profile investigations in Chicago:

• Operation Safe Road: 75 convictions, including former Gov. George Ryan, businessman Lawrence Warner and Ryan's chief of staff Scott Fawell.

• Hired Truck: 38 convictions, including city Water Department chief Donald Tomczak and city Clerk James Laski.

• City Hall hiring scandal: Mayor Daley patronage chief Robert Sorich and three others convicted at trial last year. Probe continues.

• In 12 years, Collins tried 20 cases, leading 16 of them.

Patrick, words cannot do justice to the debt of gratitude owed to you for your hard work, dedication and service to your country over these past 12 years. Thank you.
Now, as only your friend, instead of delivering guilty verdicts, the only thing I expect of you is to deliver hugs, kisses, and unconditional love to your family 128 hours a week. ;)
They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.



Blogger Nan said...

Nice tribute!

Have a great day, everyone. Jordan has a snow day here today.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Quzi said...

Good Luck Patrick Collins in your new role! Thank you very much for your hard work and service to this country. And most of all enjoy your life!

And Fitzie -- take your own advice hear:

The shortness of life prevents us from entertaining far-off hopes.

9:56 AM  
Blogger S-Q said...

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.

So true and we must enjoy life! Patrick Collins now go and enjoy yours with your beautiful family! :)

10:10 AM  
Anonymous teak said...

Thank you, Mr. Collins for all your hard work and dedication to justice. Thanks to your family for sharing you for the People's sake. Much luck and happiness to you and your family on the next chapter of life.

10:22 AM  
Blogger calamityjane said...

Mr. Collins,
Thank you for giving your all and then some to the People. Your diligence to duty is greatly appreciated.Best wishes to you and your family.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous hesikastor said...

Every time I come to this site, which is getting to be often! I come away with something. Mostly, an unexpected laugh, something from outfield that I didn't know; a shared sense of outrage, or even anger. This is one of the best, the funniest, informative, quirky, and entertaining sites on the web. I don't even know of Mr. Collins, but I recognize that we've lost a good man and a precious resource. You lot out there: heed this prosecutor's challenge: we need more people like him and Mr. Collins to serve!

11:51 AM  
Blogger Patrick J. Fitzgerald said...

TY, TY VM. ;)

11:57 AM  
Blogger calamityjane said...

hesikastor said:
"we need more people like him and Mr. Collins to serve!"


12:03 PM  
Blogger GEEZERPOWER said...

Ahh...Tis like the Tale of Two Cities, but about two Patricks who are in love with "Truth Justice and The American Way".

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,"

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."

Cheers to you both...( :

12:07 PM  
Blogger S-Q said...

Happy Friday Everyone! :D

Hey Geezer where have you been? To the big city again? :)

Ann Coulter v Al Franken


12:19 PM  
Anonymous naschkatze said...

So that rumor in the Sun-Times about a "top, top, top US Attorney" seeking another job in the Chicago area was probably about Collins?

12:26 PM  
Blogger calamityjane said...

Happy Friday :)

12:27 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

A true example for future lawyers and a wise man to boot. One can only do so much and move on to let others who learned take the lead. We have some great DOJ lawyers and Americans should be glad we do. So many years of learning and giving Justice to a country that is now breeding evil doers. Patrick did it his way as he left others weren't so lucky. But the example viewed to those left behind is what all lawyers should try to be.

Question Pat has the same name as my little angel one might think it was a little confussing to here hi Pat, hi Pat yet two different people.

12:28 PM  
Blogger patriot girl said...

Hey all! TGIF.

Mr. Collins,
Thank you for serving us so well. May God bless you in your new endeavors, and keep you and your family safe.

Its nice to know we have people out there who can make a difference.


I saw this morning Warner Bros. wants to make a movie about Wilson & Plame. Chances are though, the WH control freeks will try to keep that from happening.

Best of luck to them too.

12:41 PM  
Blogger jan said...

"TY, TY VM."

What does that mean?

12:43 PM  
Blogger patriot girl said...

P.S. And also to Mr. Collins, as an Illinoisan, I'd like to offer a personal 'thank you' to you for taking on the prosecution of George Ryan. I am so sick of... as Mr. Fitz puts it "the rampant graft and corruption."

12:46 PM  
Blogger S-Q said...


It means... thank you, thank you very much. Isn't that right Fitz? :)

12:49 PM  
Blogger jan said...

None of this is good- what a sad thing.

12:52 PM  
Blogger jan said...

Thank you, s-q.

12:53 PM  
Blogger GEEZERPOWER said...


I've been in Salem working on an estate sale...mostly old tools and green house stuff, we haven't got to the attic yet though...So much stuff that it is like mining. Too bad the Hammer isn't still around, we have found at least a hundred of them, of every description...

Franken & Coulter running...LOLMAO

They deserve each other...Neither one will ever be any more than an extreme entertainer for the sheeple.

12:55 PM  
Blogger patriot girl said...

Lunar Eclipse Tomorrow Nigt

12:59 PM  
Blogger PrissyPatriot said...

Yes to all of the above and Mr. Collins-what an upstanding guy. I hope younger pros coming up pay attention.

Very nice dedication to his work

1:01 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening folks!


Wow! Patrick Collins steps down. There were rumors flying months ago about Collins' departure. Now, he is gone. All I can say is that Patrick had to do what he had to go. I don't blame him under the circumstances but then again it is sad that he is leaving. He has put a lot of energy into the Ryan case. And that case is up in the air. Geeez, Ryan has too many connections with certain officials in Chicago. Another talented attorney gone from the DOJ. It is their lost unfortunately. Best of luck in your endeavor, Collins.

1:03 PM  
Blogger GEEZERPOWER said...

patriot girl said...
"Lunar Eclipse Tomorrow Nigt"

We can't see it on the West coast...

);* Waah BwawzzzZZZZ

1:12 PM  
Blogger S-Q said...


Estate sales! Oh, how fun!! :)

One man's junk is another man's treasure! hehe

1:37 PM  
Anonymous teak said...

I hope whoever the federal prosecutors that are looking into David Wittig's broke butt ...$31 million gone off in the wild blue yonder..doesn't buy that crook's line.

I seen his house designer's web page of Wittig's house before it was suddenly yanked off the web when he got busted. Got a Racquetball court in your house? Better than a movie star's house?
That is David Wittig. His wife seems to be no angel either. Those pricey lawyers keep getting his butt off on appeal, they ought to ask Wolf Creek employees and Westar customers about Wittig.

"Wittig and Lake left Westar late in 2002 amidst allegations of misuse of corporate funds. Subsequently, Westar under Mr. Wittig was implicated in the scandal surrounding efforts to fund Houston Congressman Tom DeLay's political action committee. Westar's contributions of funds during 2002 to DeLay's PAC were among the allegations of wrongdoing that led to DeLay's indictment in Travis County (Austin), Texas last year."

2:31 PM  

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