Anthony Gattuso, one of the newest members of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s staff, has been selected the 2012 recipient of the Elmer C. Kissane Public Service Award.
The January 2012 graduate of The John Marshall Law School will receive a $5,000 award after serving a year with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. He officially started with the office on May 21, 2012.
“Nothing in my life has given me a stronger sense of accomplishment than serving as an attorney for the people of this state,” Gattuso said.
A 2009 graduate of Marquette University, Gattuso began laying a foundation for his new position as a Cook County state’s attorney shortly after finishing his undergraduate degree. He volunteered as a law clerk at the Maywood courthouse and stayed until February 2012. Once he got his 711 license as a third-year law student, Gattuso litigated more than 30 bench trials and motions, negotiated plea offers on several misdemeanor cases, and assisted in preparing witnesses and exhibits for trial.
“I started working for the office before I began my law school career because I knew I wanted to be a Cook County state’s attorney,” he said. Gattuso sees his role as helping “to right the wrongs of the people that share my neighborhood. I want to make them all feel like they will be safe.
“Through my efforts and interactions with victims, witnesses and defendants, I see every day how justice comes to life. I see victims get the closure they have been waiting for. I see witnesses proudly help their neighbors. And I see defendants being held accountable for the horrible acts they inflict on the community,” Gattuso said.
The Westchester resident credits his father, Paul Gattuso, owner of Paul’s Pizza, with showing him how to treat others fairly and with respect. Gattuso sees his dad and him as both doing public service, because both make a difference in the community.
Gattuso, the son of Paul and Angela Gattuso, graduated from Nazareth High School in LaGrange Park. While at Marquette, he helped found and continues to serve on the board of directors of the Stephen Joseph Ryan Jr. Foundation: Guys Like Us, helping boys and young men without fathers through mentoring and grief counseling. In spring 2012, he completed a one-year term as an executive committee member of the Justinian Society of Lawyers of Cook County.