Zachary T. Fardon
U.S. Attorney’s Office
219 S. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60604

Andy Shaw
Better Government Association
223 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60606

Dear Mr. Fardon,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Better Government Association, where I serve as president and CEO. The BGA is a 90-year-old nonpartisan nonprofit that engages in investigative journalism on government throughout Illinois. The BGA also advocates for reforms and other good-government initiatives.

I’m reaching out on a matter of great concern to the BGA – the David Koschman/Richard Vanecko case. As I’m sure you are aware, Mr. Vanecko is a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, and recently pleaded guilty to killing Mr. Koschman in a late-night encounter in 2004.

While that case is on its way to being resolved, a special prosecutor, Dan K. Webb, just released a report that went a step beyond Mr. Koschman’s homicide to examine whether subsequent investigations by police and prosecutors were rigged to benefit Mr. Vanecko.

The report paints a very troubling picture of how Chicago police and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office – in 2004 and until today – have handled this case.

We believe that, although Mr. Webb found no direct evidence of an organized conspiracy, his own findings strongly suggest that is still a possibility.

We also believe the behavior of police and prosecutors could constitute civil rights violations.

The criminal justice system is central to our democracy, and when that system is corrupted, it’s an attack not just on the public, but on the values we as Americans hold dear.

The BGA supported the appointment of a special prosecutor in the Koschman/Vanecko case, and filed an amicus brief on the matter back in 2012.

We now support continued scrutiny – this time, by your office – to determine whether federal crimes were committed by police, prosecutors or other government figures in regards to the Koschman/Vanecko case.

In many ways, we regarded Mr. Webb’s report not as the end of the story, but just the beginning.

We hope that you give our request consideration. We are happy to discuss this with you or anyone at your office, as appropriate.


Andy Shaw
President and CEO
Better Government Association
223 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 386-9097