Watchdogs followup: 15 questions Webb report didn’t answer

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Former Mayor Richard M. Daley and eight of his relatives found themselves in the middle of the latest investigation of David Koschman’s death. But none had to testify before the grand jury that indicted Daley nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko for involuntary manslaughter.

Instead, interview transcripts and “voluntary sworn statements” that Daley and his family gave special prosecutor Dan K. Webb were read to the grand jury. The contents of those interviews and statements haven’t been made public — and there’s no plan to ever release them.

One of the few details Webb has revealed from those statements is that attorney Michael Daley, the former mayor’s brother, referred Vanecko to two of Chicago’s best-known criminal defense attorneys, Terence Gillespie and Marc Martin, within 18 days after Vanecko punched Koschman in the face and then took off in a cab in April 2004. Vanecko pleaded guilty Jan. 31 and is serving a 60-day jail sentence.

The former mayor told Webb he didn’t recall when he learned of Vanecko’s involvement — though one of his deputy chiefs of staff remembered telling Daley about the incident as Koschman lay dying at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Outside of that, Webb’s report doesn’t address what the Daley clan knew about the Koschman case or when they knew it.

Webb says he can’t discuss any of this “because of grand jury secrecy requirements.”

Webb’s report said he was unable to charge six officers with violating Illinois state law. But with a judge’s permission, he turned over all of his evidence last June to four FBI agents, citing their “experience and expertise with police corruption investigations.”

Webb’s report leaves many questions unanswered — and raises some new ones — about the 2004 and 2011 police investigations into Koschman’s death.


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