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Vanecko should pay for the $1.12 million investigation into David Koschman death

Richard Vanecko and the late David Koschman
Richard Vanecko and the late David Koschman
press release photos

Former Mayor Richard Daley's nephew, Richard Vanecko, 39, pleaded guilty on Jan. 31 to involuntary manslaughter in the death of David Koschman. Koschman died on May 6, 2004, of brain injuries that resulted from being punched in the head during a drunken confrontation on Division Street in the early-morning hours of April 25, 2004. The Chicago Sun-Times has an entire sub-website dedicated to the details of the case.

For seven years the case was dead, the Chicago Police called it self defense and Koschman supporters claimed there was a politically motivated cover up. It was only due to the series of articles by the Sun-Times that finally led to Dan Webb being appointed as a special prosecutor to investigate the case and the handling of the case by police.

Webb billed taxpayers $1.12 million for the investigation. His report, which was sealed by Cook County Judge Michael Toomin since it was submitted, will be released on Tuesday. Toomin said that releasing the report earlier may have prevented Venecko from getting a fair trial.

Venecko accepted a plea agreement, avoiding a trail, in which he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He will serve 60 days in jail, another 60 days under electronic home monitoring and 30 months of probation. Not a bad deal for killing a guy, even unintentionally. He also agreed to pay Koschman's mother $20,000 restitution.

Venecko should also be on the hook for the $1.12 million it cost the taxpayers to investigate the case. Due to the very light sentence, Venecko easily gets away with killing someone, at least the cost to taxpayers could be lessened.