R.J. Vanecko has always been alone in court.
Surrounded by lawyers, yes.
But otherwise, at every appearance, always alone.
I can understand why his mother, Mary Carol Daley Vanecko, and his physician father might not have come because of age or health.
But where were the uncles? Rich, the former mayor; Bill, the former White House chief of staff; John, the county commissioner; and Michael, the mega-powerful private attorney?
What about R.J.’s siblings or cousins? There are a whole lot of cousins in this clan.
It’s possible that R.J. asked them all to stay away. Possible that he told them they’d be a distraction and be chased by reporters asking bothersome questions about what they knew or when they knew it when it came to the death of David Koschman back in 2004.
Certainly some of them knew something back then. After all, Daley family friends Bridget and Kevin McCarthy covered for R.J., lying to the cops the night he hit David Koschman, pretending R.J. wasn’t with them. When they knew he was.
And R.J. certainly knew the consequence of his action early on. His apology to Nanci Koschman in court Friday made that abundantly clear.
“I felt terrible about this since the moment I heard David was injured,” Vanecko said in court. “And when I found out he had passed, I was shocked.”
Tom Breen, one of R.J.’s defense team, told the judge Friday that it was the lawyers who were to blame for preventing their client from reaching out to Mrs. Koschman all those years ago to offer his sorrow and apology.
Well, in my book, lawyers are paid for their advice. It’s the client who decides whether to follow it.
Maybe the lawyers take the rap for advising the family to stay away, too, rather than be there to show support for this kid of theirs.
But where I come from, no matter what you’ve done or how badly you’ve embarrassed all people who love you, they show up for you no matter what.
They don’t leave you standing there.