Ward Room
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Will Koschman Case Get Special Prosecutor?

Judge could rule on motion to probe whether political favoritism played a role in the original investigation




    Update: Oral arguments to be heard in March

    A Mount Prospect mother may have a better idea Wednesday if she'll get her wish for a special prosecutor to look into a seven-year-old homicide case involving former Mayor Richard Daley's nephew.

    Special Prosecutor Requested in Koschman Case

    [CHI] Special Prosecutor Requested in Koschman Case
    David Koschman was 21 years old when he died after a Division Street fight with then-Mayor Richard Daley's nephew in 2004. (Published Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011)

    At a hearing scheduled for 2 p.m., Judge Michael Toomin could rule on a petition for a special prosecutor to probe whether political favoritism played a role in the original investigation into David Koschman death.

    Moreover, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez could indicate whether her office plans to mount a challenge to the petition.

    Nanci Koschman and several others last month submitted a "friends of the court brief" asking for a fresh investigation into the 2004 incident. Her son died 12 days after being knocked to the ground during a drunken confrontation on Division Street in the early-morning hours of April 25, 2004.

    His death was ruled a homicide but no one was ever charged.

    Police, after taking another look at the case recently, said everyone was drunk that night and now believe Daley's nephew, Richard "R.J." Vanecko, threw the only punch.   

    "... had Vanecko not been a member of the powerful Daley family he would have been charged with the homicide. The handling of this matter by the Chicago Police and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office raises questions that cry out for objective, unbiased investigation," petitioners wrote last month.

    Alvarez has strongly denied that family members played a role in how the case was handled. She asked the Illinois State Police on March 25 to take a look at the matter. But one day later, one of her subordinates was appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn to head that very organization.

    The ISP initially said it would investigate then later recanted, a development that "surprised and disappointed" Alvarez. A spokeswoman said at the time that it would look for another law enforcement organization to review the case.

    Chicago’s inspector general, Joseph Ferguson, is separately looking into how the case was handled by Chicago police.