5. Cook County Ethics 101: State’s Attorney Alvarez wants to investigate herself. Lawyers for the family of David Koschman are asking Judge Toomin today (Cook County Criminal Courthouse, 26th and California, courtroom 101, 2:00 pm) to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the circumstances of 21 year old David Koschman’s death, days after being punched in the face by Daley nephew “R. J.” Vanecko in a drunken confrontation in the Rush Street area in the early morning hours of April 25, 2004. Vanecko ran away after the incident and Vanecko’s friends and family persuaded the State’s Attorney’s office that Vanecko, built like a linebacker, threw the only punch in the fight in self-defense, even though the dead man weighed 100 pounds less than Vanecko and was almost a foot shorter [See John Kass’ insightful column of yesterday]. Koschman’s family also wants an outside prosecutor to investigate the way the case was handled by the state’s attorney’s office and the Chicago Police Department. Incredibly, Alvarez argues there would be no conflict of interest in Alvarez investigating Alvarez. When the State’s Attorneys office makes an argument as inherently stupid as that, you know the fix is in.
4. Cook County Evidence 101: Destroy the Evidence eight years before you investigate. The homicide happened eight years ago. The relevant evidence has long ago been buried, lost or massaged so that the facts in this case will never see the light of the day. That’s convenient, if you are Anita Alvarez.
3. Chicago Ethical evasions 101: Deny, Delay, Distract and Distort: What the Madigans and Daleys taught the Clintons. Daley, one of the most powerful pols in the State of Illinois didn’t want an investigation of his nephew when he was Mayor in 2004 and he doesn’t want one now. As the real Mayor Daley (Richard J) used to say, if you can’t use your influence to help your relatives, what’s the point of being mayor? The Daleys and Madigans, two of the many Royal Democratic families in Illinois, are not kingmakers—they are the kings. Kings rule. Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who ran on the platform of representing the people, is MIA on this matter. Lisa is busy making a splash suing the big mortgage companies. She has no time for real law enforcement. That’s convenient.
2. Chicago Judicial Ethics 101: The judge pays off the party? The judge who will decide whether a special prosecutor is appointed in this matter is thirty year Circuit and appellate Judge Michael Toomin. Toomin, 73, is currently Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Division. Chief Cook County Criminal Courts Judge Paul Biebel Jr. gave Toomin the Koschman case after withdrawing because of a health issue. Biebel chose Toomin after consulting with Timothy C. Evans, the county’s chief judge and former alderman and pol, par excellence. Biebel says he didn’t know about Toomin’s contributions to Alvarez but that, even if he had known, it wouldn’t have changed his mind about assigning Toomin the case. [See Tim Novak’s and Chris Fusco’s excellent column of yesterday here]. Of course not, why would the fact that A gave money to B imply that A couldn’t impartially decide if B had done something wrong or if B could be trusted to investigate herself. Alvarez’s office is the primary entity arguing against the appointment of a special prosecutor this afternoon at 26th and California.
1. Cook County State’s Attorney-- killing justice one piece at a time. State’s Attorney Alvarez, who won her office (in a six candidate Democratic primary race) with about one quarter of the vote, has said she essentially doesn’t believe in the 2nd Amendment and it ought to be repealed. Easy for her to say—with several armed body guards in tow. A person who displays that kind of public arrogance usually gets her way. She will get it in this case. As Dan Proft, former Republican Primary candidate for Governor and currently WLS- 890 AM morning radio talk show host, constantly reminds us, Illinois government (including the courts) isn’t broken. It is “Fixed.” Or, as everybody else says, the Fix is in. Come watch it happen this afternoon at 26th and California. Better than watching legislation passed in Springfield or sausage being made; watch Justice undone at 26th and Cal. Almost the best show in town.