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State's Attorney Alvarez Says No Need For Special Prosecutor In Koschman Case

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 9, 2012 9:45PM

Image Credit - Glenn Kaupert
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said there's no reason for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the death of David Koschman. Koschman was the young man who died in 2004 from injuries sustained by a single punch thrown by Richard "RJ" Vanecko. The Cook County Medical Examiner's office ruled the death a homicide, but charges were never filed against Vanecko, a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Alvarez said in a Friday interview on WLS AM 890, “I don’t see any evidence — despite the theories of the journalists who are writing about this case — of a grand conspiracy here either by the police or any prosecutor."

Alvarez's comments are the latest in a stance that has left many confused and wondering if she's being loyal to a fault, to her predecessor and mentor Dick Devine. The Sun-Times and Carol Marin have been on the story for close to a year and have called for an independent investigation. Alvarez declined to file charges against Vanecko last March after the Chicago Police Department investigated its handling of the case. She later called on the Illinois State Police to investigate the case, a request the State Police initially accepted, then later declined.

When Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard tried to conduct his own investigation, he claimed that Alvarez blocked it. Alvarez's spokeswoman said her office never received a formal request in writing, but chief of staff Dan Kirk allegedly told Blanchard the State's Attorney's office is technically a branch of state government and technically out of his jurisdiction.

David Koschman's mother Nanci has called for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate her son's death and the handling of the case by police and the State's Attorney's office. Judge Michael Toomin said last week that he would hear arguments regarding a special prosecutor appointment in March. The Better Government Association filed an amicus brief last week supporting the appointment of a special prosecutor. Michael Ciric at ChicagoNow has called for Alvarez to resign.