The [Wednesday] Papers
"Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez is fighting a mother's request for a special prosecutor to re-examine the homicide of her only child, who died from injuries he suffered during a drunken confrontation with a nephew of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley," the Sun-Times reports.
"Alvarez argued Tuesday she has no conflict of interest to disqualify her from re-investigating the violent death of David Koschman - even though she still employs Darren O'Brien, the assistant state's attorney who determined nearly eight years ago that there was insufficient evidence to charge Daley nephew Richard J. 'R.J.' Vanecko."
Let us now review:
"Newly obtained Chicago Police reports show Detective Ronald Yawger 'arranged interview w/Victim's friends & ASA' on May 18, 2004. That 'ASA' was Assistant State's Attorney and Felony Review chief Darren O'Brien. It is amazing that the state's attorney's office has not one record of it - especially because O'Brien would personally interview witnesses two days later."
Back to today's story:
"The county's top prosecutor also vehemently defended her office's actions to date, saying there has never been enough evidence to convict Vanecko - or anyone else - in Koschman's death."
Believe what Anita says, not what the Sun-Times reports.
"'Remarkably, and without question, the petition apparently accepts as true all of the hearsay statements printed in the Sun-Times articles, even though no proof exists that the portions of the statements published in the Sun-Times are themselves accurate or complete,' according to Alvarez's motion, filed by four of her top assistants: Jack Blakey, Alan Spellberg, Michael Golden and John Mahoney."
As opposed to our statements, which are complete and truthful and don't require scrutiny.
"In more than two dozen articles published since Feb. 28, the Sun-Times found problems with the way Koschman's death was investigated, including that Chicago Police and the State's Attorney's office had lost case files.
"Alvarez said those missing files wouldn't have changed the outcome of the case."
"She noted the police found the 'original' file this past summer - months after they closed the case without charging anyone."
So the police "lost" the file during the initial investigation, then couldn't find it when they re-opened the case last year but declared everything hunky-dory anyway, then found the file a few months later. Yeah, nothing suspicious there!
"Alvarez downplayed her office's failure to find any of its files on the case involving Vanecko.
"'While the Sun-Times has written several inflammatory articles proclaiming the troubling nature of the missing 'file' from felony review, they have never once explained what such a folder would actually contain, or what significance that fact may or may not possess,' she wrote."
That's your job! Please tell us what kind of information is typically included in a felony review file. And why do you put quotes are around the word file? Is it a virtual file? A fake file?
"Given its content and purpose, the loss of the felony review folder in this matter is not important."
Okay, my understanding is that the office never loses felony review files, and to do so is quite serious. So please enlighten us further, Anita.
Meanwhile, the Sun-Times points out that its reporting found:
* That one of the two bystanders said it was a "flat-out lie" when prosecutors claimed all the witnesses said that the 5-foot-5, 140-pound Koschman had been the aggressor in the confrontation with the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Vanecko.
"But Alvarez criticized the Sun-Times' reporting, saying that during interviews with Inspector General Ferguson's office, 'several of the witnesses have given sworn statements directly refuting information they purportedly gave to the Sun-Times. In fact, a series of witnesses have testified what they said to the reporters was false."
Did they ask for a correction? Complain to the paper? Are the interviews on tape? If I was misquoted in a story like this or my statements falsely portrayed, I'd be looking for a payday.
Alvarez seems amazingly incurious, meanwhile, about the squishy behavior of key witnesses.
"The Sun-Times also revealed that one of Vanecko's friends, Kevin D. McCarthy, had lied to the police - twice - about what happened the night of the confrontation, denying that he and his wife knew Vanecko. Alvarez acknowledged McCarthy lied."
Isn't that obstruction of justice? Or do you have to be an Occupier to get charged with that?
"Vanecko's friends refused to be interviewed by police last year. It's unclear whether Ferguson's investigators or Alvarez's staff have ever talked to Vanecko's friends. Vanecko has never spoken to the police."
Vanecko has never spoken to police. Vanecko has never spoken to police. Vanecko has never spoken to police. I just want that to sink in.
Now pretend you are David Koschman's mother, Nanci. And Anita Alvarez has just filed a motion in court opposing the appointment of a special prosecutor in the case of your son's death - I mean, what's the harm? - and told you missing files don't matter and the Sun-Times is lying about its reporting.
And police have never interviewed the man who - surely by accident but quite possibly by arrogance as well - killed your kid. And that man, now living in California, was the mayor's nephew.
I added that Toomin link. It was super easy.
Back To The Future
"Madigan would have gone into the long-straw business so people could drink. And then, he'd probably vote to increase the Long Straw Tax, and install his friends as State Straw Measurers, before going into business to reduce the straw tax for rich Republican straw-holders."
"But as the 49th Ward alderman worked the hallway behind the Illinois Senate chambers today, he lobbied for support from the very lawmakers who would need to confirm him. 'If,' as Moore noted, the governor makes the appointment official."
Oh hello, Senator, I love your work! I've always been a big fan!
"As Moore has eyed the IEPA job, his wife, Barbara Moore, is being talked about to succeed him as alderman."
Wouldn't such an appointment be up to, um, Rahm Emanuel?
In My Hood
Neither Chicago Baseball Team Has . . .
Shit People From Chicago Heights Never Say
The Beachwood Tip Line: An independent prosecution.
Posted on February 1, 2012
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