No evidence Daley influenced Koschman case: Report - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

No evidence Daley influenced Koschman case: Report

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A new report released Tuesday clears former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley of using any influence in the death investigation of David Koschman involving his nephew, Richard Vanecko.

Special Prosecutor Dan Webb released the 162-page document Tuesday.

A statement accompanying the reports says "there was no evidence that former Mayor Daley, his family, or others at their direction engaged in conduct to influence or attempted to influence" the investigations.

While the report does officially clear the Daley name, it does suggest that Richard "R.J." Vanecko received special treatment without any interference from the mayor.

Vanecko is serving 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of the 21-year-old man after a drunken altercation in 2004.

Vanecko pleaded guilty Friday to involuntary manslaughter, leading a judge to unseal the report. He admitted to punching Koschman during a late night drunken confrontation in the Rush Street area nearly a decade ago.

The blow caused Koschman to strike the pavement on Division near Dearborn when he hit the ground. He never woke up. The Mount Prospect man was hospitalized for 11 days leading up to his death.

Daley's nephew was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 60 days of home confinement, to pay the victim's mother Nanci Koschman $20,000 for expenses and apologize to her in court.

After completing the report last year, Webb said charges related to the original investigation weren't possible because the statute of limitations ran out.

There have been questions whether Vanecko was not charged because he is the former Chicago mayor's nephew. Daley told special prosecutor Dan Webb in an interview that because he was Vanecko's uncle, he recused himself from any involvement in the matter.

The report released Tuesday morning says then-Mayor Daley was informed of the incident by a deputy chief of staff shortly after it happened, even though police detectives didn't know of Vanecko's involvement until more than two weeks later.

Koschman family attorney Locke Bowman said Tuesday's report suggests that the police did a pathetic job with this investigation, at best.

"What happened here was an investigation that was treated as a political football from day one," Bowman said. "It wasn't about bringing the killer of David Koschman to justice. It wasn't about assisting the victim's [mother], Nanci Koschman, in understanding what had happened to cause her son's death. She was left on the sidelines in the dark while police and prosecutors focused on covering themselves from allegations that they might be responsible for criminally charging a Daley family member."

Bowman said Tuesday there's no doubt clout played a role in what they described as a shoddy, half-hearted initial investigation.

When a member of the powerful Daley family is involved, Bowman said, police knew to protect him. He added, "In this city ... you don't need a phone call."

Another of the attorneys, Flint Taylor, added the case is an example of "supreme clout."

The report details efforts by the police to not exactly cover up the investigation, but certainly efforts that were bungled as part of the investigation. Files were lost, the lineups weren't held on time and the police essentially were not doing the job they should have.

The lead detective on the case admitted at one point he just wanted to pass the buck along, have a preliminary hearing and get the charges tossed out. He said he knew that wasn't right, but that's what he was leaning towards doing in 2004.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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