John Fritchey

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John Fritchey
Member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners from the 10th District
Assumed office
2010 (2010)
Preceded by Forrest Claypool
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 11th district
In office
Preceded by Rod Blagojevich
Succeeded by Ann Williams
Personal details
Born (1964-03-02) March 2, 1964 (age 53)
Bossier City, Louisiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Karen
Alma mater University of Michigan (B.A.)
Northwestern University (J.D.)
Profession Attorney

John Alden Fritchey IV (born March 2, 1964) is a Democratic member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, representing the 12th District since 2010, and a zoning attorney in Chicago. He was a state representative to the Illinois House of Representatives, and was a former candidate in a Democratic primary for the United States House of Representatives in 2009.

Early life and career[edit]

John Fritchey was born at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana. His father, John Alden Fritchey III, was a native of Olney, Illinois, and a Vietnam veteran. His mother emigrated from Morocco. After living in Olney, home to three generations of his father's family, and later in Belleville, Illinois, John and his mother moved to Chicago where he attended grammar school and high school at The Latin School of Chicago.

He earned his bachelor's degree in economics in 1986 from the University of Michigan. Fritchey returned home to earn his law degree from Northwestern University in 1989.

After graduating from law school, Fritchey worked as an Illinois Assistant Attorney General from 1989 to 1991.[1][2]

In 1992, Fritchey married Karen Banks, the niece of 36th ward Chicago Alderman and ward committeeman William Banks, long-time chairman of the City Council Committee on Zoning.

Zoning attorney[edit]

Fritchey is an attorney in private practice[3] with a specialty in the area of zoning. Fritchey does zoning work before the Chicago City Council's Committee on Zoning.[4] Fritchey is a lobbyist registered with the City of Chicago.[5]

In 2002 Fritchey represented hip hop record producer Rudy Acosta,[6] president of Legion Records, in a zoning change to permit the construction of "a 44-foot-high, approximately 7,000-square-foot structure festooned with turrets and battlements" in the residential neighborhood of Independence Park on Chicago's northwest side. The City of Chicago's Department of Zoning advised against the zoning change.[7] Neighbors complained[8] they never were told of the proposed zoning change despite a requirement they be notified by certified mail.[9] Fritchey said the residents may not have read the notices: "...if they don't like the zoning change they shouldn't blame me because they didn't pay attention to the notice."[10] Fritchey threatened the neighbors with a defamation lawsuit.[7]

Illinois State Representative[edit]

In 1996, Fritchey was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives at age 32.[4]

Fritchey was Chairman of the Consumer Protection Committee from 1999 to 2002. His efforts to rein in escalating ATM fees received national attention.[11][12]

Fritchey controls two state-registered political action committees, Friends of John Fritchey and Chicago PAC,[13] and the federally registered Fritchey for Us.[14] [15]

Democratic campaign for U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Fritchey was one of many candidates who ran for former US Representative Rahm Emanuel's seat in Illinois's 5th congressional district special election, 2009.[16][17] In the primary election on March 3, 2009.[18] Fritchey finished second to Mike Quigley in the 12-way race for the Democratic Party nomination.[19] Quigley bested Fritchey in Fritchey's home district, the 11th Illinois Legislative District, and in Fritchey's home ward, the 32nd.[20][21][22]

Chicago ward committeeman[edit]

In the summer of 2003, long-time 32nd Ward committeeman and former 32nd Ward alderman Theris "Terri" Gabinski announced he was stepping down from the committeeman post. On the day of the filing deadline, December 15, 2003, Fritchey filed to run, but later withdrew, and Gabinski ran unopposed.[23] Four years later, in 2007, Gabinski again announced his retirement from committeeman. On July 27, 2007 Fritchey again announced his candidacy.[24] Fritchey challenged the nominating petitions of his only challenger, Roger Romanelli,[25] and Fritchey ran unopposed on February 5, 2008.

On February 14, 2012 Fritchey withdrew[26] from the 2012 Committeeman election, leaving the post to challenger Alderman Scott Waguespack.

Cook County Commissioner[edit]

Fritchey declined to run for re-election to the Illinois House in 2010, instead running for a seat on the Cook County Board of Commissioners, formerly held by Forrest Claypool. Fritchey was endorsed by both Claypool and Congressman Mike Quigley.[27] According to the Chicago Board of Elections, Fritchey won the election with 75 percent of the vote.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Fritchey's former father-in-law, Samuel V. P. Banks, was a criminal defense attorney with considerable influence in Chicago's 36th Ward on the Far Northwest Side[7] until his death in 2010.[29] A former Cook County prosecutor and Chicago police officer, Samuel Banks was called a powerful behind-the-scenes figure in his brother William's 36th Ward Democratic organization.[29]


  1. ^ Schaper, David (2 March 2009). "23 Compete For Emanuel's Congressional Seat". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  2. ^ Novak, Tim (2005-11-28). "Attorney cashes in on uncle’s turf". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  3. ^ Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois. "Lawyer Search". Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  4. ^ a b Stewart, Russ (2009-05-17). "Contested Races Likely in 35th, 36th and 47th Wards". Chicago's Northwest Side Press. Nadig Newspapers. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  5. ^ Chicago Board of Ethics (2008-12-04). "List of Registered Lobbyists" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  6. ^ Kass, John (2008-04-18). "Welcome wagon may roll past King Rudolph of Clout". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  7. ^ a b c Scheier, Lee (1 May 2006). "Under Siege". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  8. ^ Kass, John (2008-04-23). How to build a castle in Chicago. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  9. ^ Washburn, Gary (2005-11-15). "Plan for `castle' riles North Side neighbors - Group files complaint over zoning change". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  10. ^ Joravsky, Ben (2005-12-02). "Wait Till They Find Out About the Moat". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  11. ^ Tucci, Linda. "He's back: Illinois' Fritchey takes on ATM fees -- again", St. Louis Business Journal, 24 February 2002.
  12. ^ "ATM fee legislation rearing its head once again in Illinois", Northwestern Financial Review, 1 March 2002. accessed 25 May 2011.
  13. ^ Canon, Ramsin (10 July 2005). "It Has to Mean Something". Gapers Block. Retrieved 2009-02-17.  External link in |work= (help)
  14. ^ Fritchey for Us
  15. ^ Illinois State Board of Elections. "Campaign Disclosure". Archived from the original on 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  16. ^ Seelye, Katharine Q. (25 February 2009). "In Chicago House Race, a Free-for-All". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  17. ^ Associated Press. Emanuel's Seat, Chicago Tribune, 21 January 2009.
  18. ^ Associated Press. "Ill. GOP: Special vote chance to replace senator" Chicago Tribune, 5 January 2009.
  19. ^ Mihalopoulos, Dan (2009-03-04). "How Quigley claimed Democratic nomination in Rahm Emanuel race". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  20. ^ "IL-05: A Detailed Look at the Special Election". Swing State Project.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  21. ^ Ryan Rafi, Sarah; Tareen, Sophia (2009-04-03). "Mike Quigley Wins Democratic Primary To Replace Rahm Emanuel In Congress". The Huffington Post. Associated Press. 
  22. ^ Mihalopoulos, Dan (2009-03-03). "How Quigley claimed Democratic nomination in Rahm Emanuel race". Chicago Tribune. 
  23. ^ Joravsky, Ben (16 January 2004). "Backroom Boogie: How did the mayor get two popular candidates to agree to drop out of a potentially gripping race?". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  24. ^ "Rep. Fritchey Kicks off Reelection Campaign, Also Announces Bid for 32nd Ward Committeeman" (PDF). Office of State Representative John Fritchey. 27 July 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  25. ^ Joravsky, Ben (2007-12-18). "First round: Fritchey". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  26. ^ . 2012-02-14  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ "Fritchey To Run For Cook County Board". 
  28. ^ Parker, Alex. "Fritchey easily wins Claypool's seat" Archived 2011-05-25 at the Wayback Machine., Chicago Current, 3 February 2010.
  29. ^ a b Lee, William (2010-03-07). "Sam Banks, former 36th Ward political figure, dies". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 

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