An accomplished federal prosecutor and litigation partner, Rodger has deep experience handling high-stakes matters involving healthcare fraud, financial fraud, cybersecurity, and other white collar issues. Prior to joining the firm’s nationally recognized Government Investigations & White Collar Litigation Department, Rodger served as the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois and as a partner at two Chicago-headquartered law firms.
During his tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Rodger supervised investigations and tried dozens of jury trials to verdict in cases involving fraud, public corruption, money laundering, price fixing, tax evasion, false claims, and computer crimes. He oversaw fraud settlements with hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare professionals, recovering tens of millions of dollars for the Medicare Trust Fund. He also led the prosecution of significant procurement fraud cases and initiated multiagency task forces on cybercrime and public corruption throughout Central Illinois. Rodger briefed and argued more than 60 appeals in the Seventh Circuit, twice en banc.
In addition to his public service, Rodger was a partner at two Chicago-headquartered law firms, where he represented clients in internal and criminal investigations, trials and appeals. He gained substantial experience in healthcare fraud qui tam actions under the False Claims Act, including complex parallel civil and criminal actions. He also advised foreign, multi-national, and domestic corporate and individual clients in internal investigations regarding electronic evidence and computer intrusion related matters.
Rodger also served as Chief of Staff and statewide Homeland Security Advisor to former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. In those roles, he provided strategic leadership in all areas of the governor’s office, including consultation on important litigation and class actions, agency operations, budget and policy development, legislative affairs and executive appointments. Earlier, as the Director of Public Safety, he oversaw seven state agencies, led the Illinois Terrorism Task Force and chaired the state’s Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform. Rodger maintained Top Secret/SCI clearance, which he used to develop strategies with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force leaders and the federal homeland security executive leadership to protect the state’s critical infrastructure. Rodger holds the CIPP/US credential as a Certified Information Privacy Professional from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).
Selected for inclusion in “Legal 500 United States,” Cyber law, 2020
Named a "Criminal Law Trailblazer," The National Law Journal, 2020
Director’s Award, Executive Office of United States Attorneys, United States Department of Justice, (by U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno)
Special Achievement Awards, March 1991, October 1995, and October 1998
Recipient of Certificates of Merit or Appreciation, (by Director John Simpson, U.S. Secret Service and by Director Louis Freeh, Federal Bureau of Investigation)
Adjunct Professor, White Collar Crime, University of Illinois College of Law
Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
Member, Committee to Revise the Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Instructor, Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute (assorted courses in trial and appellate advocacy)
Member, Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices, 2018
Life Member, National Association of Former United States Attorneys
McGuireWoods Contributes to GIR's “The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations”
March 24, 2021
McGuireWoods’ Rodger Heaton and Kevin Lally Named NLJ Criminal Law Trailblazers
March 4, 2020
National Honor for White Collar Team
February 13, 2020
McGuireWoods Honored as a Law360 White Collar Practice Group of the Year
January 15, 2020