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Why police didn’t charge Vanecko pal who lied to them

Then-police Supt. Phil Cline 2006 with Mayor Richard M. Daley.   |  Sun-Times file photo

Then-police Supt. Phil Cline in 2006 with Mayor Richard M. Daley. | Sun-Times file photo

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Updated: February 6, 2014 11:41AM

It’s not illegal to lie to the Chicago Police Department.

That’s what former police Supt. Phil Cline and other top cops told the special prosecutor investigating David Koschman’s death in explaining why they didn’t charge Kevin McCarthy, a key witness, with obstructing justice for repeatedly lying to the police to keep his friend Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko, a nephew of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley, from being arrested in 2004 for punching Koschman.

“Former Superintendent Cline noted that lying to police is so common that Kevin McCarthy’s actions did not rise to asking for charges,” special prosecutor Dan K. Webb wrote in his 162-page report, released this week, detailing how police and prosecutors bungled Koschman’s case.

James Molloy, who was Cline’s chief of detectives in 2004, told Webb’s investigators flatly, “There’s no law in Chicago against lying to the police.”

Detective Rita O’Leary, who interviewed McCarthy, told investigators, “Kevin’s lies hurt [CPD’s] investigation.” But O’Leary said she couldn’t recall any witness ever having been charged with obstructing justice.

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