RJ Vanecko Case Reeked To High Heaven

RJ Vanecko Case Reeked To High Heaven
RJ Vanecko Mug Shot

I have written extensively about why I felt the RJ Vanecko Case involved official misconduct and/or malfeasance by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and that the Chicago Police Department engaged in perpetrating a coverup in order to protect the Daley Family name in the minutes and hours after Richard “RJ” Vanecko fatally struck David Koschman. And while I am relieved that RJ Vanecko has finally been brought to justice and rightly convicted of involuntary manslaughter, it was done only after he accepted a plea deal that amounts to a slap on his wrist. Still, I am happy that the Honorable Judge Michael P. Toomin permitted the release of a report prepared by Special Prosecutor James K. Webb and feel the thousands of words written by me affirm my contention that the actions of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and the Chicago Police Department was part and parcel to why the RJ Vanecko Case Reeked to High Heaven.

That is also why I will also continue to call for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign! And if she doesn’t? Well then it will be incumbent upon the voters of Cook County to ensure that she is no longer elected to an office that represents their interests. I will also go so far as to say that if the voters choose not to do so – then they do so at their own peril because next time it could be them or a family member that will feel the over zealousness of an State’s Attorney’s Office that has long had a long history of employing a double standard when it comes to the prosecution of the average citizen versus that of political clout.

Sadly people tend to forget that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has routinely declined to file charges in order to protect those in official capacities. Well at least until enough publicity forces them to either go through the motions or actually act. But I have to question why the good people of Chicago would accept this sort of thing or why these same people seem to think it normal when the City of Chicago and/or Cook County must hit up the taxpayers to pay for the monetary damages as a result of lawsuits filed by victims of official abuse?

But I am going to call an ace an ace here: being ignorant to this thing called “business as usual,” “pay to play” or any other continued bad acts committed by our elected officials and public employees is totally unacceptable in this, or any, society! And while we are at it let’s come to another realization shall we? Career Illinois Politicians are neither friend nor compassionate when it comes to the protecting of rights and liberties of the Average Joe and Josephine.

Let’s face it, when it comes to politics in Chicago, Cook County, and in the rest of the State of  Illinois, what our career politicians give us is one fricking game after another. But you know sometimes those games become downright dangerous for the people to whom they were sworn to protect.

Enough is enough is enough already! Unless, of course, it does not bother you that our elected officials have systematically, and quietly, stripped us of certain basic rights and liberties while we weren’t watching.Think I am kidding? Well then you haven’t really been paying attention! The killing and subsequent suppression of the facts surrounding David Koschman’s death at the hands of Richard “RJ” Vanecko was just another prime example of how far those in power and authority would go to protect the status quo.

Luckily the Chicago Sun-Times did not hide or cower when it became apparent to them what was going on in the RJ Vanecko Case. They diligently stuck with the story and continued to dig deep until we all had a much clearer picture of what power protecting power looks like. And I have to commend them for that because Chicago Media have long tried to pick and choose what was printed, especially about the Daley Family.

Hopefully, the events that compelled Daley Loyalists to enter protection mode will finally lay to rest the notion that the Daley Mystique is not what it has appeared to be. Hey I get it, people here want more than anything to believe that the Daley name and Chicago are not only synonymous but that that family members possess the stuff heroes are made of.

Well okay, I can go along with the fact that the Daley’s are synonymous with the City of Chicago – but I wouldn’t call them heroes.

Neither would I say that about those protecting that myth!


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  • Reported today -- Andersonville Bike Thief Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison and then Daley's nephew kills a man and gets 60 day.

    "With liberty and Justice for ALL!"

  • In reply to JackF66:

    In all fairness this Andersonville Thief had prior felonies too. Still that is the kind of stuff I have been saying all along JackF66. Average Joe Blow rarely gets plea deals that amount to a slap on the wrist. Instead they will serve whatever sentence is imposed despite the fact Toni Preckwinkle, Tom Dart and Judge Evans continue squabbling over the over-crowded jails. RJ Vanecko, meanwhile, will probably have his request to serve his paltry 60-Day sentence in McHenry County approved because someone will buy the argument that he would be a target or become someone's backdoor prize in Cook County Jail because of his name. Then again, he is pretty big guy and should be able to defend himself right?

  • Most of the stink seems to have happened during Dick Devine's term (Alvarez didn't take office until 2009), and it is too late get him to resign.

    Same thing: they can't hold Daley responsible for what he did as State's Attorney during the Burge years.

  • In reply to jack:

    That is a yes and a no Jack; Anita Alvarez served under Dick Devine and when Alvarez took over the office kept Devine on the payroll. So both have been completely involved in this case. And let's not forget that both Devine and Alvarez are indebted Daley Loyalists and are forever entwined in this case.

    As for not being able to throw the book at any of these people, I contend that that is still wrong. There is precedent under Federal Law that the obstruction and/or,conspiring of an investigation involving death has NO statute of limitations. And quite frankly since Webb's Report included the manner in which the case was perverted; i.e. "mysteriously lost files;" notation of files linking suspect to politician, blah, blah, blah - Believe me - there is a hell of a lot more circumstantial evidence in this case than there was in Drew Peterson's hearsay law conviction.

    Now so far as former Mayor Daley and Jon Burge, well yeah I will grant you that one but only because it doesn't meet the Federal prerequisite. (BTW - and Chicago is paying for that Burge fiasco as they must take on more debt and redo their bond issues to pay for the legal settlements taxpayers have been put on the hook for).

    Some Daley Legacy!

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Not true about no statute of limitations. 18 USC sec. 3282 establishes a 5 year statute of limitations for noncapital federal crimes unless some other statute applies (i.e. terrorism). The only way they got Burge is that he lied at a deposition within the statute of limitations.

    Obstruction of justice is not conspiracy to commit murder. Manslaughter isn't

    In fact, I wonder if federal obstruction of justice applies, as 18 USC 1510 only refers to federal proceedings. Burge lied at at deposition in a federal case.

    As I mentioned before, if Webb found a crime within the statute of limitations, he sure knew how to turn it over to the feds. If you have some citations to case law to back up your assertions that there was something prosecutable that Webb missed, post it.

    As I also indicated in the CTA Tattler today, I'm not accepting legal arguments without or misquoting authority.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack fair enough I will have to dig up the document which was found on one of the Federal Websites. I thought I had bookmarked it but can't seem to find it - but will look for it. Now we have talked and debated this before and even though I am no legal beagle I do know that this case should probably have been taken on by the Feds rather than Dan Webb. Yes it is true that it "appears" that he did a good job to reach a conclusion. But was it a conclusion that was based on the idea that a penalty had to be paid to satisfy the public as well as not upsetting the entire Apple Cart? Hmmm....

    And that is where I have a problem because Jack Webb (and damn near every other legal participant in this case) have juggled this like a hot potato and I suspect it is because everyone has personal ties, been appointed and/or just sheer loyalty to the Daley's. Hell even Webb has ties to the Daley's.

    Look, there are plenty of examples where people who should have had the book thrown at them and were let off for the sake of expediency or to lessen its impact upon the greater good and that goes all the way up to the US House Ethics Committee which just hopes the accused is voted out or that they die in office before doing what they should be doing.

    So really Jack nothing surprises me anymore and still believe, unlike Alexander Hamilton, that the Judiciary "is the least harmless" the Judicial System is less than equitable because what Hamilton missed was that SCOTUS has the power to inflict great harm so long as 5 of 9 vote yeah. And they have had some pretty bad fucking bad and fra-reaching decisions in their history; Dred Scott v.Sandford (endorsing slavery), Plessy vs Ferguson (affirming segregation), Korematsu vs U.S. (internment camps) and more recently the Commerce Clause. So much for Justice.

    But if you think that when Officers of the Court and a Police Department conspire deny a fair investigation (and then losing the files or having CPD files having strange notations on the jacket identifying the suspect as being "son of V Dailey", or the questioning of witnesses and then failing to note their words verbatim or outright changing them, or allowing a ruse lineup, allowing Daley Family Members to Perjure themselves without charges, etc., etc, etc, don't meet the definition of conspiracy or that those actions cannot have a so-called Statutes of Limitations attached to them well then nothing I can say to you will matter anyway except maybe my acknowledgement that all members of the legal community must have been taught all the loopholes while in Law School.

    But I will find that US Code as it relates to Crimes against Public Justice but in the meantime here is what the State of Nevada defines them as while I am scouring for the citation you seek. But even with the citation I doubt it means anything since the Feds seem to have a hands-off policy when it comes to our State's Attorney's and didn't take it on.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    And that is where I have a problem because Jack [sic] Webb (and damn near every other legal participant in this case) have juggled this like a hot potato and I suspect it is because everyone has personal ties, been appointed and/or just sheer loyalty to the Daley's. Hell even Webb has ties to the Daley's.

    You remember that when Webb was appointed, I criticized it because of his connection with George Ryan, a member of the combine. At that time, Mrs. Koschman, Locke Bowman, and you were apparently satisfied. Apparently the former two still are, as Bowman has only publicly spoke about police department administration had better read the report. He isn't talking more prosecutions. Apparently all Mrs. Koschman wants is an apology from the police.

    As msully says below, people, including the police superintendent, should read the report, but at this point it only has the disinfecting potential on which we agreed with the HF sports case.

  • In reply to jack:

    If you recall I was satisfied but said we must keep a close eye on how he handled it*. My only complaint is that there is no recourse for a State's Attorney's Office and Chicago Police Department that has a history of irregularities.

    As for Mrs Koschman, well this has not only been a long, long process but one in which she was stonewalled every step of the way. Yet she seems as someone who is vengeful and now at least can reconcile what occurred.

    As for my final observation - yeah this was an attempt to disinfect the events and believe, in retrospect, *that that was the plan along.

  • In reply to jack:

    Okay here is document I cited that made me question whether or not a Statutes of Limitation argument even existed for James Webb: "due process condemns pre-indictment delays even when permitted by the statute of limitations if the prosecution wrongfully caused the delay and the accused’s defense suffered actual, substantial harm as a consequence."

    This also why I thought, given that the State's Attorney's Office was involved, that it had no business being handled anywhere else but in Federal Court because this isn't about a manslaughter charge as it is about a Government Agency charged with prosecuting the law failed to do so. Remember the Cook County State's Attorney's Office never sought to indict, so I don't see how a Statutes of Limitations can be implied if the clock never started running? There surely was enough evidence to charge Vanecko. So this is really the crux of my argument.

    Now there is a lot of legalize throughout that document (and I am no lawyer nor pretend to be) but there seems to be a compelling enough argument in my mind that due process was violated through no fault of the victim or their heirs. And my limited understanding of Law tells me that Due Process is one of the most important aspects of our Judicial System. So if it suppressed, hindered or otherwise tampered with someone must be held accountable. Again, this is my opinion but like anything in Law there are more zigs and zags than the IRS Tax Code. But I would think until Webb returned the indictment some ten years later that is when the clock actually starts running for those who suppressed the information.

    But I also know nothing will come of it because there really are no consequences to Official Misconduct by a State's Attorney other than through whatever Department of Professional Standards entity that handles that or at the Ballot Box. So what are we looking at here at the worst - disbarment or losing an election? Big fricking deal.

    But I have to tell you that I am starting to agree more and more with Mark Levin and the arguments he brings forth in his book the Constitutional Amendments - our rights and liberties have been put in peril and unless the people muster the courage to change the status quo - nothing will change except for the worse by our Supreme Masters.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    The second paragraph in the linked document is exactly what I said above:
    There is no statute of limitations for federal crimes punishable by death, nor for certain federal crimes of terrorism, nor, since passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (2006) (P.L. 109-248), for certain federal sex offenses. Prosecution for most other federal crimes must begin within five years of the commitment of the offense. There are exceptions. Some types of crimes are subject to a longer period of limitation; some circumstances suspend or extend the
    otherwise applicable period of limitation.

    Federal crimes punishable by death are such things as murder of a federal officer or the officer's family, murder in the maritime and territorial jurisdiction, and apparently, from the Tsarnaev case, murder in an act of terrorism.

    Vanecko didn't commit federal murder; he committed the state crime of involuntary manslaughter. Apparently there was not enough of a statute of limitations problem to prevent him from being charged in state court maybe 10 years later.

    As far as the cops, while I thought there might be a more recent obstruction of justice charge, as I noted above, it probably was not federal.

    One might have argued a civil rights violation, except that any coverup was after Koschman died, and one can't violate the civil rights of a dead person.

    Apparently you have confused about 3 or 4 legal concepts and also rely on pop law pundits like F. Lee Levin, who got his start only because of El Rushbo.

  • In reply to jack:

    Didn't realize the connection to El Rushbo. But I think Mark Levin makes valid points in his book, which I am not sure if you read. His arguments, no matter where his political ideology lie, seems to make sense in many areas. Especially those bad SCOTUS decisions; I mean they are historical fact and the Justices were definitely on the wrong side of it weren't they? To me it is the same as the so-called Infallibility of the Pope - I don't think humans are immune from having lapses in judgement whether it be by accident or on purpose. Then again I never thought Lifetime Appointments to SCOTUS made sense anyhow.

    As for the Statutes of Limitations I know there aren't any limits for the Capital Offenses you listed. Still somewhere in that document the man speaks of the need to expanding those statutes under certain conditions. And that is where my own sensibilities lie when it comes to Due Process (one of our most important principles) and where I think a challenge could be made. It was violated and done so for what looks like political reasons - hey that's serious.

    But hey - I already know nothing will come of it as no one will try and expand the envelope - still I have to ask why not? State's Attorney's aren't dog-catchers Jack - they have tremendous power over a free man so Official Misconduct, Perjury, Suborning Perjury, Hindering an Investigation with an Intent to not return an Indictment, etc. are serious matters and are unacceptable. So they must be held to a higher standard - period.

    I don't know how you feel about it - but most of us Americans hold our laws sacred and when those who are charged with protecting them and/or prosecuting those who violate them - well, they have an obligation to do everything in their power to do the right thing.

    So it really isn't even about the 60 Day sentence Vanecko was handed anymore or the fact that Daley Kin were let off in exchange for changing their lies - it is about an State's Attorney's Office that put politics above the law. And I will say this too, unlike those others "Sulli" spoke off - I did download the Webb Report and I am appalled at what took place. Not only that - it is pretty sickening that the only thing an Anita Alvarez has to fear is a Professional Standards Review or an angry Ballot Box.

    Look I keep saying it - I am not a lawyer or a law scholar. But I can recognize when there is something wrong with certain laws and/or exceptions to them. But at the same token I know that Law is flexible and that new precedent is borne when someone challenges a deficiency in it.

    So if I have things gobble-Dee-gooked oh well but that doesn't mean that existing law have it right either.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    The initial due process requirement in the criminal law is that a crime must be defined before one commits the act supposedly constituting it; a vague criminal statute is unconstitutional. The second tenet of both the federal and Illinois criminal codes is that a crime must be defined in it, and the common (judge made) law does not apply. The third is the Ex Post Facto clause. Hence, there is no way consistent with the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments that one can invent crimes on the fly.

    Hence, if the existing criminal law is messed up, only the legislative branch can change it.

    The dichotomy is illustrated in this morning's Sun-Times. Blago was first convicted for lying to a federal agent, in violation of 18 USC 1001 (according to the indictment). Phil Cline said there was not a comparable state law, so anybody associated with Vanecko may not be convicted of that, despite what anyone might believe. I'll add the caveat that nobody had paid me to do Cline's legal research.

    The final thing, if you are talking federal instead of state crimes, is that there must be a connection to a Congressional power in Article I or one of the amendments. As I noted above, the feds don't have general jurisdiction over murder. People like Blago and Crundwell committed federal crimes because their acts implicated commerce (such as Blago using the phone, or Crundwell directing an interstate bank transfer). As I mentioned earlier, nothing said so far in this case has anything to do with any of those powers Congress is delegated by the Constitution.

  • In reply to jack:

    I had said if laws weren't on the books that only the Legislature can enact them - I fully understand that Jack. What I don't understand is why a State's Attorney and a Police Department with knowledge a crime was committed and instead chose to not indict and instead willfully (a) engaged in a conspiracy to (b) hinder and obstruct justice for political reasons not be eligible to be charged under Illinois Statute or 18 U.S. Code § 1621 Perjury in either (a) or (b)?

    According to the code:

    Whoever (1) having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true; or

    (2) in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code, willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true;

    is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. This section is applicable whether the statement or subscription is made within or without the United States.

    Are you telling me that Public Officials can break every tenet of their own office and refuse to charge someone just because they feel like it? Because if that's the case then every criminal ever charged by the State's Attorney's Office becomes suspect and the incarcerated should all be appealing and asking for the same "look I am really a Daley Kin and I want that same look the other way Vanecko deal."

    Look if we do not have laws covering official malfeasance and or misconduct I would be surprised since we have seen that charge mentioned in newsprint before. But lets say we don't then shame on our legislature because what the State's Attorney's Office and CPD did in this case was not only highly irregular but rises to being criminal and quite frankly should be charged. I mean are they immune from being charged? Public Official or not they too must adhere to the same laws we are held to.

    So far as changing laws on the fly? What do you mean this is Illinois and isn't that the crap they pulled with Drew Peterson's Hearsay Law? That was after the fact! Quite frankly I think Alvarez' Office and the CPD are guilty of something bigger that Clinton's Blowjob and at least he he went through the embarrassment of an impeachment - so at the very least maybe we should have the ability to impeach or recall each and every public official. The way it is now you can't trust a single one in any of the three branches here - they are all corrupt as sin so far as I am concerned.

    But hey either way I am sick and tired of the bullshit our elected officials and politically connected cronies subject us to because there are sets of rules - one for them and one for us and the problem with that is that we pay far far more than they do. As such I have zero respect for the judicial system and its web of loopholes.

  • The sad thing is the rank and file citizens have not downloaded the PDF and read all 162 wasted pages. Only in doing so, do you see the depths of the cover-up and/or raw incompetence. To think that the dirt-ball parade that is featured in this report: Alvarez, Devine, Darren O'Brien, Ronald Yawger, and the two police officers will sit on their fat butts and live a comfortable retirement on the back of the citizens is a disgrace.

  • In reply to msulli4spanky:

    Thanks for commenting msulli4spanky, yes I have to agree with you. And this has been a regular argument made here. I have urged people to participate in the process without hawking one ideology over another. But the only way average folks can defeat this engrained machine is to get out and vote because the majority of the 37% that vote now have a vested interest in keeping the status quo intact. But I guarantee you, if the other 63% comes out, well politicians will have no choice but to accept responsibility and transparency.

    As for the people not downloading this report - well they would be stupid not to because there was an overreach here and it could happen to others (and often does). And like you say these bums eventually ride off into the sunset collect multiple public pensions off our sweat.

    I don't know, sometimes but I think people don't remember or understand history; but keeping one's head in the sand only allows those in power to take away your rights and liberties.

  • 1. The federal one only applies in a federal proceeding. I mentioned before, Burge lied at a deposition in a federal case, and depositions are on oath. Nobody has indicated that there has been any federal proceeding in this case. Mrs. Koschman apparently did not sue anybody for deprivation of David's civil rights. Such a suit against the State's Attorney for making a call within the prosecution's discretion would have been barred by official immunity.

    2. To what you linked for the state was the Pattern Jury Instruction, not the Penal Code, but that doesn't make any difference. The thing that makes a difference is that every element of a crime must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. Here,again, a necessary element is an Oath or Affirmation (see instruction 22.01B). I don't think CPD puts witnesses under oath. If someone lied to the grand jury, Webb could have prosecuted him for that.

  • In reply to jack:

    I see, still all too confusing besides I thought once Judge Toomin gave the case to Webb he took depositions after convening a Grand Jury in order to return an indictment? If that were true then I would think perjury were a good bet.

    p.s. official immunity is one of those catch-all loopholes that shouldn't exist because that is exactly how officials avoid taking responsibility. Then again, I suppose I now know why some folks go postal.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    No, a grand jury doesn't take depositions. The normal process is to subpoena people before the grand jury, and as I indicated earlier, if someone lied before the grand jury, they could be charged with perjury. However, this grand jury recessed without any further indictments.

    If one really wants to go into prosecutorial immunity, one would have to read treatises such as by Professor K.C. Davis on Discretionary Justice (surprisingly, still around. But the bottom line would be that besides the police getting sued for wrongful arrest or prosecution, both the police and prosecutor could be sued for doing nothing, i.e. ending up being sued most of the time.

  • In reply to jack:

    I think that is what I meant to say; i.e. subpoena before the Grand Jury and then return the indictments. So if this Grand Jury only quickly indicted RJ Vanecko my cautionary note on "keeping an eye on how Webb proceeded" was warranted. I now have to wonder if there was ever an intent to go after those in Alvarez' office or CPD who both lost or conveniently misplaced case files (which according to our local law scholars "just doesn't happen in an SA's Office yet did). I just can't fathom how any Statute of Limitations can expire when the SA and CPD refused to move on something Webb was able to conclude so quickly. This concept of when the "clock starts running" is all too confusing but common sense would tell me it was reset the second Webb took control of the situation and that no one would be absolved from penalty just because they stalled.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    How can you say Dan Webb acted too quickly when there was a 162 page report? If he wasn't going to find anything, the grand jury could have came out with a 3 page report without saying stuff like someone in the PD decided to concoct a self defense defense.

    As far as the statute of limitations, it starts when the crime is committed. The only thing that stops it is being a fugitive. In a continuing enterprise, it runs from when the last act was committed, but even so, sometimes only for the past 5 years. A lot of the Blago stuff came in because he committed crimes the day before he was arrested.

    And police inaction is exactly why there is a statute of limitations, since the intent is to protect defendants from having to defend charges when the evidence is stale.

    I told Steve Dale when he tried to give legal advice that he was in way over his head. In this case, I think that you are at least over your skis. As I said before, if Locke Bowman had something, do you think he would withhold it from his press conferences, or would have already electronically filed a complaint in federal court?

  • In reply to jack:

    Unlike Steve Dale (or did you mean Dahl?) I have you keeping me honest and I appreciate that Jack. As I have said I don't know how many times - I am no Legal Beagle and have no desire because it is just too hard to navigate and find the proper rulings. I do like that link for Locke Bowman and will refer there because it is pretty clear for lay people like me - so thanks.

    As for the "too quick" jab I am referring to the front end at the Grand Jury Stage. Even smarter columnists and editorials basically said "well I guess we have to take Webb's word for it as to charging the State's Attorney's Office or CPD." So I have to assume even they had a question as to that "running clock" as I did. The 162 page report, though, will stand as an indictment of sort for those entities and we can hope for is that people realize that that is a dangerous thing to have and do the right thing by not re-electing Alvarez.

    * By the way I just had another comment on the Ancil Glinck / Harwood Heights post and told the commenter that he should maybe direct a legal question your way on an FOIA issue so keep an eye on the thread lines.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    No, Dale. He was taking the position that some partially deaf person in a condo had a right to a dog to bark when someone was ringing the doorbell. My point was that she was only entitled to reasonable accommodation, and this was not reasonable.

    On FOIA, I have become convinced through personal experience that the exemptions are used to hide information. I'm also convinced that inspector generals are similar, in that, for instance, the Metra one hasn't said anything and the response by everyone else is "we turned it over to the inspector general."

    I'll agree with your that basically everything in Illinois is perverted.

  • In reply to jack:

    I see. But if condo covenants are anything like we have with our HOA, yeah I can see where that wouldn't go very far as they seem to have way too much authority anyhow.

    And yes they are playing games with satisfying FOIA requests but if look at the Ancil Glinck Post and read "ROYS" comment there is an issue about an Harwood Heights trustee that looks like hooey to me.

    The perversion continues.......

  • I'll also add that Locke Bowman, Mrs. Koschman's attorney, as head of the MacArthur Justice Center, and Flint Taylor, were the ones that got the Burge case off the schneid (e.g. here. Hence, I would presume he knows that the legal situation is, but, unlike before the charges were brought against Burge, he isn't reported to have said anything about bringing more prosecutions in this matter.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for the link - looks interesting and a weekend read although I was planning on an in-depth reading of "the Unwinding An Inner History of the New America" by George Packer. Looks like I will have to make room for this site today.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Well I have to admit after reading, what I have thus far on this site, I am even more troubled as to how Alvarez and the CPD walk away from this without any other penalty than public opinion.

    Whether or not the dumb voters of Cook County can even reconcile the severity of their actions remain to be seen. But given the "sheeples being led to slaughter" track record among Democratic Voters it would seem that Alavarez may even survive this. I guess the best we could hope for is that they wake up or politicians up for re-election succumb to a natural demise.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Now you finally get back to where I thought you started. Whether there is political payback is one thing, but that is essentially the only possibility.

    Heck, some media were all over Alvarez for charging the NATO 3 with terrorism, even though they were convicted of mob action and arson. Damn if you do and damn if you don't, despite how the defense lawyers tried to put lipstick on the guilty verdict only on some counts.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yeah it was a damned if do damned if you don't kind of thing for the SA on that NATO Terrorism case. I suspect it may be that most people were troubled by the uncover cops' roles in this; i.e. did they overstep or not? I mean it really sounds like these guys were dimwits with bravado on their minds. But Molotov Cocktails is a serious thing given what happened in Boston.

    So yeah that is being stuck between a rock and a hard place so far as Alvarez is concerned and don't really fault her per se on this one. I would, however, caution her that right now the average citizen (those who will serve on a jury) have had a sour taste in their mouths when it comes up that the CPD was integral to the charges being filed and in my opinion, think Trust is going to be an major issue any charge will have to overcome.

    But hey they were convicted of two felonies just the same so I don't think she really lost here despite what was in the press.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    In a sense, it gets back to "how the feds stop all [except the Tsarnaev] potential garbage can bombers by giving them duds" until one gets to one of your sore points that maybe the NSA was on their tails (as defense attorneys are now claiming in two recent cases).

    Of course, as many cases prove, the federal prosecutors are much better than the state ones, who can put the average Joe away but not if a state defendant (like R. Kelly) hires a lawyer. That probably gets us back to JackF66's point at the top.

  • In reply to jack:

    Fighting Terrorism is a daunting task period and I suppose having to "give them duds" is one way to expose those wanting to wreak havoc. Still, I have to wonder if we are really safe or if the NSA is even on top of things as they claim. I mean they definitely shown they have the ability collect data but when it comes to the actual dissemination of it - well that might just be too Herculean of a task.

    The Boston Bombing, for instance, is now being blamed on the fact Russia didn't share intelligence (and I don't doubt that given Putin likes to holds things close when it comes to their Chechen problem). But if our intelligence gathering was even remotely effective you would have thought that a murmur be detected. And for that reason I get conflicted with all this spying and data mining. It really does border on being on a very fine line.

    As for prosecutors, well I think it is obvious (at least around here) that the Feds have the heart and the will whereas our own state prosecutors (more often than not) do not. Then again if they did they would be going after their corrupt colleagues scattered throughout the branches of state government. So we kinda know how that goes with Lisa Baby not showing any will to investigate the rife conflicts of interest (or the legality of enacted legislation which opens those loopholes).

    As for JackF66 - yes he did have a point but he omitted that the Andersonville Bike thief also had a bunch of felonies on him but still 60 days for Vanecko is a joke by any judicial sentencing standard (unless I got that wrong too).

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    There probably aren't any sentencing standards for the state, and btw, Vanecko plea bargained.

  • Don't get me going on condos.

    My point to Dale was if a condo declaration banned all pets,* the Fair Housing Act would allow a blind person to have a guide dog notwithstanding the declaration. However, a dog there just to bark is an imposition on people living in adjoining units.

    I had cited a Michigan case where some disabled guy demanded the world from the condo association and when he did not get his way, sued the association for $5 million. The Appellate Court threw it out, saying that the association had done more than necessary to accommodate him, and he should have paid for some of the alterations to the common areas he demanded. Dale couldn't figure out the relevance of that, so I concluded with the comment I repeated above.

    Hence, the operative term is "reasonable" accommodation.

    * I worked on amending ours to that extent, and also bar tenants, since someone running a mortgage pump and dump scheme had rented the unit to someone with a dog who bothered the other 7 unit owners. BTW, HUD is apparently suing some condo association in Chicago that the no tenant rule somehow also violates the Fair Housing Act.

  • In reply to jack:

    I can understand that as a Guide Dog is exempt for obvious reasons. But yeah I can understand the issues behind someone having a dog that barks all the time. It can be pretty annoying as our neighbors have a yapper and everyone once in awhile I have to go out and remind them of that and tell them I really don't want to contact the HOA or call the cops - so have a heart - restrain your dog the same way we do ours.

    As for HOA's and/or Condo Assn's - I am not overly opposed to them as their function is to keep everyone's property values up (at least in theory) but sometimes I don't like the dictatorial behavior of our board. Matter of fact I contacted Tom Cross a few years ago to see if there were any bills in the works to prevent some of those abuses and you know what he said? Yeah there is a bill but Michael Madigan keeps shelving it (and it had to do with Madigan's own real estate interests and involvement). Hell that Bill is still in a committee members drawer to this day!

    Mostly I am okay with the covenants but yes there are certain things an HOA or Condo Assn cannot impose upon owners such as my roof antenna which they tried to do until I showed them the FCC rule on that one and they were then forced to amend the covenants because they were in violation.

    But most other things? Well they have a pretty tight grip on things and some have been known to get Lien Happy if you don't comply. And believe me we have lots of those in our sub-division because there will always be the idiot who doesn't get it.

  • Jack, have to agree on the sentencing standards but like you noted it wouldn't have mattered anyhow since Vanecko took a plea deal. p.s. thanks for weighing in on ROYS comment and question in the Ancel Glinck Post - appreciate it a lot!

  • With respect to my previous comments that Webb knew how to turn the case over to the Feds, the Sun Times now says he did.

  • In reply to jack:

    I saw that Jack and this now begins to make more sense. Hey I may not be a student of the Judicial Process but I knew there was something we were missing here. Of course I found it almost ironic that one of the people given information retired from the FBI shortly thereafter.....sounds all to eerily familiar. But I do know this much - this goes way beyond Vanecko / Koschman and throws a shit ton of CPD Cases into doubt.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    On rereading it, one doesn't know how the S-T got a sealed file, but as you noted, the feds probably have better resources to see if there was some sort of conspiracy,

  • In reply to jack:

    As they say Jack - Stay Tuned? But hey I take comfort in your earlier takes on James K. Webb and his legal prowess. I now have even more respect for him and Michael P. Toomin after reading the article.

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