Special Prosecutor Named in Koschman Case

Toomin earlier this month approved a request to have a special prosecutor review the case

By Carol Marin
|  Monday, Apr 23, 2012  |  Updated 7:45 PM CDT
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U.S. Attorney Dan Webb will investigate the circumstances of a homicide involving former Mayor Richard Daley's nephew. Carol Marin reports.

U.S. Attorney Dan Webb will investigate the circumstances of a homicide involving former Mayor Richard Daley's nephew. Carol Marin reports.

Judge Michael J. Toomin has appointed former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb as a special prosecutor to investigate the circumstances of a homicide involving former Mayor Richard Daley's nephew.

"The investigation will take us to where the facts take us," Webb said after the mid-morning announcement.

Toomin earlier this month approved a request to have a special prosecutor review the death of David Koschman, who died following a 2004 Division Street altercation with Daley's nephew, Richard J. Vanecko.

"I'm sure he'll be fair. He's a very thorough lawyer. He'll get to the facts. We're not afraid of the facts in this," said Vanecko attorney Terence Gillespie.

After the Chicago Sun-times began making inquiries in 2011, Chicago police finally determined that it was Vanecko who threw the lone punch that night seven years earlier.

Toomin, in deciding a special prosecutor was necessary, raised questions about why police and state's attorneys' files were lost or nonexistent in this case -- and how police could conclude Vanecko acted in self-defense when he was not interviewed by either police or the state's attorney's office.

No one was ever charged in the case.

The special prosecutor will operate independently and has subpoena power.

Both Vanecko and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez fought the request to appoint a special prosecutor in the case, but Alvarez said she would not appeal Toomin's decision.

"In light of today's ruling I will respect the opinion of this case and move forward," she said earlier this month.

Vanecko's lawyers originally filed a motion to intervene on the request and disputed the suggestion by Nanci Koschman's lawyers that Vanecko may have confessed to throwing a punch that night. 

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