A 10-year “cover-up” by police and prosecutors prevented Nanci Koschman from learning that former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew killed her son, so she should be allowed to sue them, her lawyers said in a court filing Monday.
“The barrier to a fair disposition of Mrs. Koschman’s wrongful-death claim was not removed until [Richard J. “R.J.”] Vanecko’s conviction on Jan. 21, 2014. Until that occurred, the false official version — in which Vanecko was the victim of [her son] David’s aggression — posed a formidable impediment to the fair disposition of any claim Mrs. Koschman might have made against Vanecko,” Koschman’s lawyers wrote in asking U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer to reject four separate motions to dismiss Koschman’s lawsuit.
Lawyers for Vanecko, the city of Chicago and Cook County want the case thrown out, arguing the statute of limitations for Koschman to sue passed years ago. David Koschman died May 6, 2004, but Vanecko wasn’t charged until December 2012, after a series of Chicago Sun-Times reports prompted the appointment of a special prosecutor to re-investigate the case.
Koschman’s lawyers said police and prosecutors “deprived her of a fair opportunity to seek redress for David’s death because the defendants concealed the truth” about her son’s death.
“Acting to cover up a crime committed by a son of Chicago’s most powerful political family, Chicago police and Cook County state’s attorneys acted in conspiracy to create a false official account of the incident in which David Koschman was killed,” they wrote. “Although Vanecko’s assault of David was unjustified and criminal, the defendants created a false official record of the investigation, labeling Vanecko as the victim of David’s unjustified aggression.”