BGA Fights For Special Prosecutor In Case Involving Daley Nephew

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Better Government Association is urging the appointment of a special prosecutor to reinvestigate the case of David Koschman, who died after being punched by a nephew of retired Mayor Richard M. Daley.

BGA executive director Andy Shaw told WBBM Newsradio Wednesday that his organization has filed an amicus brief in the case. Circuit Judge Michael Toomin is expected to issue a ruling on the issue on Friday.

“We basically said that we believe there needs to be an independent prosecutor. The family of every victim of violence is entitled to an investigation that is fair, thorough, impartial, and free of political considerations,” Shaw said. “This one just has too many questions.”

Early on the morning of April 25, 2004, Koschman reportedly had a confrontation with Daley nephew Richard “R.J.” Vanecko outside a bar in the Rush and Division Street nightclub district. The quarrel allegedly prompted Vanecko to punch Koschman.

Koschman had hit his head on the ground, and he died 12 days later.

The case was reopened and closed by Chicago Police last year, without criminal charges. Police said they determined Vanecko acted in self-defense.

Detectives reportedly determined Koschman was the aggressor, based on witness accounts. But those witnesses later said they never told police Koschman was the aggressor.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office also declined to press charges, saying there was not enough evidence to sustain criminal charges against Vanecko. But last year, Alvarez did ask Illinois State Police to examine the Chicago Police investigation.

Koschman’s family’s petition for a special prosecutor noted irregularities in the investigation, including false official reports and a case file that went missing, and says the investigation might have been influenced by Vanecko’s relationship to Mayor Daley. The petition said the irregularities require an independent investigation.

Shaw the goal is not to go after Vanecko, but to provide solace for the Koschman family.

“We’re not trying to convict Mr. Vanecko or even get him indicted,” Shaw said. “We’re saying the Koschman family deserves closure here.”

Shaw also raised questions about whether Judge Toomin’s impartiality was reliable, since he was a campaign contributor to Alvarez when she ran for State’s Attorbey.

“That’s why we really need this investigated with no skin the game; no political connections, and let’s get it straight and right one last time,” Shaw said.

If Toomin rules against the appointment of a special prosecutor, the Koschman family plans to appeal, although it is not clear whether they legally can. The BGA will join the Koschmans in an appeal if it happens, Shaw said.

“I’m hoping Judge Toomin does the right thing on Friday and asks for a special prosecutor,” Shaw said.

If the judge approves the motion, the BGA will suggest some attorneys, and will ask that the prosecutor work pro bono so taxpayers don’t get stuck with a big bill, Shaw said.

  • zatso

    Now that the media is FINALLY giving space to this tragedy, we will get some results

    They have to appoint an independent person.

    After the Florida fiasco, the judge has to recommend one.

    Why has it taken so long, I ask myself–DALEY


  • Jay

    They just can’t leave this alone. Mutual combat, equal fault. Didn’t the family get closure at the funeral? This headhunt is about one thing and one thing only. They’re trying to dig up a conspiracy that leads to Daley. It’s disgusting. Forget about it!

    • Maria Pappas

      Hey Jayyyyy….”mutual combat” who’s payroll are you on??? Leave your last name so we can look you up in the payroll database. I’m Maria Pappas and I’m the Crooked County Treasurer. I used both former S/A Richard Devine and current S/A Anita Alvarez to charge and convict an innocent man. I got him a three year sentence for “Official Misconduct.” Why?? Cause he knew too much about crooked things that I have done under the color of authority of my office. So I know exactly how it works when one has CLOUT. Us CLOUTSTERS make sure campaign donations come from and go to the right people so that we can FIX cases with impunity. How did I do it?? 1st: I had Judge James Egan transferred to the Daley Center after he threw out 2 of my 5 charges on 2 occasions. 2nd: I had the defendants’ case transferred to politically connected Judge Mary Margaret Brosnahan in courtroom 303. 3rd: After one of my witnesses died I had Brosnahan rule that certain “evidence” could be used anyway. 4th: I had Commissioner John Daley speak to then Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno about speaking to the defendants attorney, Karla “the phoney baloney” Faioni, to have her throw the case without making it look obvious. 5th: I had others speak to co-counsel Susana Ortiz to make sure she was on board also in throwing the case. 6th: I had my first floor manager, Bill Kouruklis, lie on the stand about what he “saw” on my $3 million dollar Las Vegas style security system….etc…etc… You see…the defendant filed a FOIA, on November 2, 2005, with the County Purchasing Department asking for a copy of a crooked furniture contract which included my $23,000.00 desk which Pan Zekman reported on back in January of 2011…3 years after the defendant was found guilty so that his credibility is now tarnished. Then the defendant sent a letter to me on November 8, 2005, from Attorney John Lower of the firm Fioretti (now the 2nd Ward Alderman) and Lower, to me stating that he was going to sue me for my attempts at obtaining his medical file from his doctor. The case number for the whistle blower, who never got to blow the whistle on my office, is 06CR19427. That’s how cases are fixed in Crooked County!!!

      • zatso

        To maria P,

        I see that you have been dragged through a mess. I feel sorry for you.

        Hope that good results come from this case. More outlets reporting on the case have gotten results. Th Suntimes has been the prime mover.

        The Papp-ass fiasco got swept under the rug. Notice that Kass didn’t play it up at all, but now he acts like he has been on top of the Vanecko case.

        The crumbs that are involved with Vanecko read these postings and have to look in the mirror and see themselves for the POS they are.


    • Tom

      Jay – Whats disgusting is that a young man is dead, and there are too many
      questions as to what really happened. I would think that the
      Daley’s would be in the forefront of wanting to clear this matter up, so that there are no questions as to what took place. If the deceased were your son, would you be able to accept the conflicting accounts?
      Remember, Chicago is the most corupt city in the most corrupt state!

      • LYNDIA

        Tom, you are correct. This young man is dead due to Daley’s nephew. If you had hit and killed him, you would be under the jail now

      • zatso

        Good evening Idi Amin.


    • SMZ

      Jay….since when is one man punching and the other falling backwards hitting their head and dying “mutual combat?” The whole thing wreaks of a cover-up and the family deserves an investigation. All they’ve gotten so far is witness tampering and the runaround.

    • Westlooppolitico

      DAley is involved along with his two bit police department—and of course messiah Rahm will try to step on it too with help from clown Holder who will lean on Fitzgerald—Daley fixed a murder case and he needs to be indicted—he is a phony hypocrit and he needs to pay–

      • zatso

        And Daley goes back to Burge!


  • Mike Leahy

    the most corrupt city………in the most corrupt state……… in the most corrupt country in the world. The family of the dead boy will never get justice. I used to be proud to be an American. That was a long time ago. Now all I feel is shame.

    • Frank

      You would probably feel more at home in China or Iran.

  • A. B.

    The Koshman lawyers have it all wrong and so does the public perception. Let’s look at the Judge and his history both on the bench and as a private defense practicing attorney. Judge Toomin had a murder case reversed because he took a break and left the bench with the case continuing so he could go answer the telephone. People v. Vasquez, doc no 79044. Or, let’s take the case where Judge Toomin allowed a crime scene tape to be shown in the murder of 3 children in People v. Hansen, 1-95-4033-or1-98-2295. Or, People v. Ward, doc no 108690 were Judge Toomin allowed facts from a prior case of Ward to be entered negatively but, did not then allow Ward’s attorney to introduce the ‘fact’ that in the prior case Ward was not found guilty of a rape. Futhermore, in this present case of homicide concerning David Koshman the official police reports (2004 and 2011) both contradict the statements from at least 6 witnesses (2 neutral bystanders) without a statement from Richard Vanecko. Private attorney Michael Toomin presented a second police report in a case where he was defending an attempted murder suspect (People v. Montgomery, 1974). The judge in that case found Michael Toomin in contempt because attorney Toomin refused to reveal how he came about getting this 2nd police report which a witness admitted was the correct police report (Exibit B and not Exibit A was accepted) and the report was signed by the Pollice Officer’s Supervisor. This alone tells me Judge Toomin fully knows there could be another police report in this Koshman case. Judge Toomin, needs to excuse himself from the Koshman case before making his decision on Friday. I am sure we could find a Judge in the Cook County Criminal Courts system with less Illinois Supreme Court reversals than he already has. We owe it to 21 year old David Koshman, his mom Mrs. Nancy Koshman, and to the taxpayers/residents of greater Cook County. If Richard Vanecko is meant to be found not guilty then our Courts should decide and not any other fact gathering entity. Vanecko ran because he knew he did something against the law, he committed a crime and now we have to corner him and bring him to court.

    • LYNDIA

      Bring him into court and CONVICT HIM OF MURDER. This judge has also giving contributions to Alverez. No she didn’t want an independent investigation because it will point to Vanecko.

  • Silver

    A lot of phone calls being made for “RJ” and a lot of judges turning off their cell phones. The hot potato being passed around. I guess that’s what happens when you sell your soul to the Devil.

  • urbantranslator

    Mr. Shaw, I want o thank you and the BGA in the name of justice, they need you and the BGA in the Trayvon Martin case. Justice denied anyone is justice denied for everyone.

  • Tom

    How can you even compare this case to the Martin case? Martin attacked someone in a state with concealed carry as well as stand your ground laws. His vicious attack cost him his life. This is a case where two drunk dudes got into a fight and one lost. Completely different situations.


    Tom, your bigotry defies common sense. Zimmerman was told not to follow the boy and martin did not hit this thug. I have never seen a gash on someone’s head without a bandage. Doctored up tapes that is all.

  • Judge To Rule On Special Prosecutor Request In Case Involving Daley’s Nephew « CBS Chicago

    […] The Better Government Association has filed an amicus brief in the case, and is urging Judge Toomin to appoint a special prosecutor. […]

  • IMHO

    Alvarez seems deeply flawed.

    • zatso

      No kidding, and ice cream costs more than a nickel now.


  • Judge Allows Special Prosecutor In Deadly Fight Involving Mayor Daley’s Nephew « CBS Chicago

    […] The Better Government Association has filed an amicus brief in the case, and is urging Judge Toomin to appoint a special prosecutor. […]

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