U.S. attorney, Northern District of Illinois
With about 170 federal prosecutors at his disposal, the question is not whether this newcomer to the list has power but how he will wield it. So far, the Tennessee native has reorganized the office and appointed a team of attorneys to focus on violent crime—much of it gang related. There are new issues, too: He’s prosecuting the first-ever fraud charges for a high-speed commodities-trading practice called spoofing. Chicago being Chicago, let’s hope that Fardon, who helped put away former governor George Ryan, won’t lose his focus on political corruption.