April 23, 2012
The Chicago Tribune
Webb named special prosecutor in case involving Daley nephew
By: Cynthia Dizikes
Dan Webb, a former U.S. attorney in Chicago and famed defense attorney, has been appointed special prosecutor to look into the investigation of the 2004 death of David Koschman in a drunken confrontation with a nephew of then-Mayor Richard Daley.
Cook County Judge Michael Toomin, who ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor, named Webb to the post this morning.
In his written order, Toomin said that he was directing Webb to investigate the homicide and determine whether "from 2004 to the present, employees of theChicago Police Department and the Cook County State's Attorney Office acted intentionally to suppress and conceal evidence, furnish false evidence, and generally impede the investigation."
Toomin then called Webb into his courtroom, instructed him to raise his right hand and swore him in as the special prosecutor.
Webb then shook Toomin's hand and thanked him.
"It's a pleasure," Webb said.
After the brief proceeding, Webb told a swarm of reporters at the Criminal Courts Building that Toomin had called him about a week ago to ask if he would be interested in being appointed to the case.
Webb, who has been a special prosecutor three other times, said he took some time to consider the offer and then called Toomin back to say he would like to be considered.
Toomin notified Webb late last week that he would be named the special prosecutor.
"I'm honored to have the opportunity," Webb said. "My appointment gives me full power as a prosecutor to investigate, to use the grand jury."
Webb plans to assign a couple of attorneys today from his law firm and start planning how to gather all records and facts associated with the case.
Webb would not detail how many attorneys he planned to ultimately assign to the investigation or how long he believed it might take.
"The investigation will take us where the facts take us," Webb said. "When you don't know what you want to know, you go out and find out. That will mean probably the use of a grand jury and it will mean to use resources so I can eventually tear apart the facts, find out what those facts show, and then make the kind of decisions prosecutors make on whether the case should go forward with some kind of formal charge."
After questions were raised about the police investigation, Koschman’s mother, Nanci, asked that a special prosecutor look into the case.
No charges were ever filed against Richard “R.J.” Vanecko, a member of the powerful Daley family. After reopening the probe last year, Chicago police determined Vanecko had punched the diminutive Koschman after a drunken dispute in the Rush Street night-life district early on April 25, 2004.
Locke Bowman, one of Nanci Koschman's attorneys, said today that her legal team was pleased with Webb's appointment.
"We are extremely gratified," Bowman said. "This is the right person for the job."
Webb, a former U.S. attorney in Chicago, represented former Gov. George Ryan and numerous other high-profile cases around the country. He acted as special prosecutor in the Iran-Contra scandal.
According to Toomin's order, Webb must submit a fee schedule associated with his investigation into the Koschman case every three months for payment by the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
At the conclusion of the investigation, he must also submit a final report, detailing the results of his investigation and whether he calls for any criminal prosecutions.