Ex-CPD Supt. Jody Weis: Police actions in David Koschman case 'embarrassing'
February 24, 2014 12:31AM
Former police Supt. Jody Weis
Updated: February 24, 2014 1:10PM
Former Chicago police Supt. Jody Weis — who ordered the 2011 re-investigation of David Koschman’s death — says he’s troubled that high-ranking cops apparently fabricated a self-defense claim to avoid charging a nephew of Mayor Richard M. Daley.
“To me, the entire crux of this matter now is: How did the police department — how did the detectives — arrive at a self-defense claim based upon a comment attributed to Koschman that nobody can attribute to any witness?” Weis says.
“That is, to me, absolutely shocking. If you’re going to draw that conclusion, it’s got to be attributable to someone. You can’t just make it up.”
In a 45-minute interview, Weis says the 10 years it took from Koschman’s death in 2004 until last month’s guilty plea by Daley nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko is “a very sad commentary on the investigative prowess of the Chicago Police Department.”
That’s his take after reading the 162-page report by special prosecutor Dan. K. Webb, whose grand jury investigation led Vanecko to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter. The guilty plea came nearly three years after the police department closed the case on March 1, 2011 — Weis’ last day on the job.
Webb’s investigation found that Deputy Chief of Detectives Constantine “Dean” Andrews ordered the case closed without charging Vanecko two days after Andrews and Sgt. Sam Cirone edited the detectives’ report, inserting a line saying Koschman “aggressively went after Vanecko, stating ‘F— you, I’ll kick your ass.’ ”
“That phrase is nowhere attributed to Koschman or any other witness,” Webb wrote.