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Bill Daley: RJ Vanecko "A Good Kid"

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 5, 2012 4:45PM

One of Richard “RJ” Vanecko’s famous uncles is defending him and it isn’t the former mayor with a unique grasp of the English language. Former Commerce Secretary, Obama White House Chief of Staff and potential gubernatorial candidate William Daley became the first member of Chicago’s alpha dog political family to publicly express support for Vanecko, who was indicted Monday on involuntary manslaughter charges in the 2004 death of David Koschman.

When asked if Vanecko was never charged in connection to Koschman’s death before Monday because he’s a nephew of one Chicago mayor and the grandson of another, Daley told the Sun-Times, “I’m not going to — you know, he suffers with the fact that he is related” before adding, “I’m sure there are times where he has thought he has been given opportunities by virtue of that. He’s basically a good kid.”

Attorneys for Koschman’s mother Nanci have long contended Vanecko would have been charged with murder if he wasn’t a member of the Daley clan. Daley said everyone in the family “knows we were blessed to have such great parents and a father who decided to spend his life in public service” but that gift also “comes with “a certain level of scrutiny and criticism.”

Daley offered his comments during the swearing in of another nephew, Patrick Daley Thompson, to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation Board. Cook County Commissioner John Daley and zoning lawyer Michael Daley were also on hand, but declined comment. As for the former Elective Majesty Richard M. Daley, Bill Daley said he was out of the country on business, but wouldn't specify where.