Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter
Any politician who wants to wield supreme power in Chicago must control the Cook County State Attorney's Office.
The Chicago Sun Times, Rahm Emanuel's Pravda, took a big step toward giving that power to the Mayor.
For those not familiar with Chicago politic's, put simply, it's a protection racket. And the Cook County State Attorney's Office is the "Muscle".
Here's how it works: Eight years ago, Mayor Daley controlled "The Machine". So it was dictated - probably not by His Honor himself, but by others - that there'd be no real investigation into the death of David Koschman, and that the Chicago media would ignore the event.
Why? Because the man responsible for David Koschman's premature death was a Daley family member, and, therefore, a protected member of "The Machine".
Fast forward to present day: The current Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, needs to control the States Attorney's Office. So his journalistic minions at the Chicago Sun Times resurrect, and then use, the tragedy of David Koschman's death, to dismantle the power of State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, and thereby future discredit the"Daley Machine," so Rahm can replace it with the "Emanuel Politburo".
It's that simple. And it's that disreputable.
The investigation into the death of David Koschman was derailed eight years ago due to political power.
It was resurrected in order to gain political power.
Justice doesn't figure into the equation.
Welcome to the People's Republic of Crook County.
The Cook County States Attorney's Office is the "Muscle" in Chicago, and Rahm "Never let a crisis go to waste" Emanuel, is well on his way to taking control of it.
Bye, bye, Anita
Related Story on how the "Muscle" and the media operates in Chicago:
Editorial Staff, Illinois PayToPlay
There remains the matter of how the investigation of David Koschman’s death died before it ever really got started back in 2004.
As some in the Chicago media applaud themselves for having doggedly pursued the case for over eight years – a self-serving, silly exaggeration – serious unanswered questions remain.
The scope of those unanswered questions was suggested by the judge who kicked-off the re-examination – if there ever was an original search for the truth - of Koschman’s death as reported by the Sun Times:
“Cook County Circuit Judge Michael P. Toomin in announcing his ruling that a special prosecutor will re-examine the 2004 death of David Koschman after being punched by Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko, a nephew of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley” stated that: ‘A decided interest in preventing or impeding the prosecution, a denigration of the existing exculpatory evidence and, probably the most prominent impropriety, the fiction of self-defense, supported only by oft-repeated conclusions that David Koschman was the aggressor, a host of statements in the exhibits, detectives, particularly Detective [James] Gilger, the last to be quoted, Superintendent Phil Cline, Mr. O’Brien and the state’s attorney herself.’”
IP2P reported in April 2012 that:
“It’s beyond dispute that Cline played a pivotal role in assuring that the investigation into the fatal assault on David Koschman was stunted by the ‘oft-repeated conclusions that David Koschman was the aggressor’. So, how long have the feds known that Cline was, according to a June 2011 email sent from Daniel T. Frawley to a confidential source simply referred to as ‘Bob,’ a protective ‘buddy’ of Frank McMahon?”
The initial inquiry into the Koschman death didn’t die on its own. It was killed, and buried, by a cabal of city and county officials who wanted it to go away. Any other explanation of what happened in 2004 requires a willing suspension of disbelief.
Consequently, the story of David Koschman’s tragic death will not be completed until we know who spiked the initial investigation.
So we wonder: Are there more indictments yet to come from the Grand Jury? Or is Vanecko the end of it?
If his indictment is all there is, we predict Vanecko will plea bargain a sentence of several years probation.
Rather than a public civil trial, negotiations with Vanecko’s legal counsel will lead to an out-of-court settlement involving an undisclosed payment to Mrs. Koschman for the wrongful death of her only son.
The Sun Times will applaud itself for having played a key role in bringing closure to the Koschman family.
And, the current City Hall regime will privately celebrate having orchestrated a puppet show that brought embarrassment to the previous regime.
And it will be just one more case of justice delayed being justice denied.
The Chicago Way.
Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic
Does anyone really think a Daley would have been indicted, after nearly a decade, for killing David Koschman if there was still a Daley in the Mayor’s Office?
If you do, see me. I’m selling $100 tickets to the Grand Opening of Al Capone’s recently discovered hideout containing his cache of money and secrets – this time for real.
Does anyone really think those intrepid “Watch Dogs” at the Sun Times – an affiliate of the Chicago newspaper combine we call the Sun Tribune – just decided that, about seven years after Koschman died in a late-night street incident involving a Daley, that the event should be…revisited?
If you do, see me. I’ve trained a Pekingese to sing Irish drinking songs and he rents for only $1,000 a night to entertain at parties – that is, if he’s in the mood to sing. If not, you’re still out the grand.
And now, on the heels of those two improbabilities come statements from Uncle Bill Daley about his nephew, the recently indicted for manslaughter Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko. Innocent until proven guilty, of course.
Uncle Bill said that R.J. is “basically a good kid“. The “kid” is 38 years old, by the way. Uncle Bill added, “The death of the young man was a terrible tragedy. The pain which his family has felt over those years — anyone who has lost a child knows that. It’s irreplaceable pain.”
The Times’ soberly reminds us that “Daley lost 8-year-old son Richard J. Daley II to a rare lung disease in 1985.” That means, of course, that Uncle Bill’s empathy for the Koschman family is genuinely heartfelt.
But deadly disease, while tragic, particularly when it afflicts a young person, is not a crime.
The Times’ article tells us that “The former Commerce secretary said there are advantages to being a member of what’s been Chicago’s most politically powerful family for the past half-century, but also disadvantages.”
The Times’ quotes from Uncle Bill continue: “’I think we’ve been the beneficiaries of enormous opportunity,’ Daley said. ’Every one of us knows that. Everyone knows we were blessed to havesuch great parents and a father who decided to spend his life in public service, as did his son, my brother Rich. And all of us have tried to do it right and live good lives, as everybody does.’”
Did we miss something here? Is David Koschman accused of killing R.J.? Are we supposed to feel sorry for the “good kid” R.J.?
At the point the Times’ article has fully entered into the Land of Surreal there comes this Uncle Bill quote: “Asked if the Daley family tie had hurt or harmed the 38-year-old Vanecko in the Koschman case, Daley said, ‘I’m not going to — you know, he suffers with the fact that he is related.’”
Oh, really? Thirty-eight year old “Kid” Vanecko suffers with the fact that he’s related to the Daley family? Is that why he skated on this charge for nearly a decade, because the authorities wanted him to suffer with guilt?
The sad truth is that justice suffered because Vanecko is related to the Daley family.
Makes you wonder: Is all this high jingo a set-up for a plea bargain based on R.J.’s time-served in a prolonged state of mental anguish as he dealt with his unresolved and unacknowledged personal feelings of possible guilt?
Which brings us back to the initial question: Does anyone really think a Daley would have been indicted, after nearly a decade, for killing David Koschman if there was still a Mayor Daley –any first-name Mayor Daley?
Looks like one of the advantages Uncle Bill mentioned of being a member of Chicago’s most politically powerful family is the ability to get away with a charge of manslaughter - that is until a new regime takes over City Hall and gives its dedicated shill media outlet the green light to go after a Daley.
When Rahmbo runs for re-election, he sure doesn’t want to run against a new first-name Daley.
David Koschman and his mother are, of course, the most egregiously damaged victims here, but the by-standing citizens of Crook County are victims, too.
Because if somebody like David Koschman doesn’t count until the political winds shift – then nobody counts.
It’s Howdy Doody Time in Chicago again, folks.
Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic Chicago Tribune columnist and political satirist John Kass coined the term “combine” to refer to the combination of Illinois pols from both the Democrat and Republican parties who combine their efforts to fleece the Illinois public.
It fits nicely with political reality.
It also fits when applied to the two, big, daily newspapers that represent Chicago’s dead tree media: the Tribune and the Sun Times.
Each has their benefactors and constituency, like the two political parties, but, like the two political parties in Illinois, they really don’t compete against each other. They combine their efforts to share the market that is Chicagoland’s designated “big” stories.
Take, for example, the David Koschman Case. The Sun Times resurrected the story about the same time it, coincidentally, became the media shill for the new Rahm Emanuel regime in City Hall. Their motive? Discredit the former long-standing Daley regime machine, and, thereby, build up the new, more honest, City Hall bunch in-charge.
In the meantime, Koschman Case Special Prosecutor Dan Webb has, to date, billed $585,000 while conducting an alleged investigation into the incident that happened over 8 years ago. It’s just another charade for the benefit of the Cubs, Bears and Sox fans. (A better use of that money, and much more, would have been to give it to Mrs. Koschman for the wrongful death of her son.)
Then there’s the alleged Frawley-McMahon lawsuit that the Times reported – only to have it vanish from view in a couple of days, like a mole that sticks its head up from its hole, and then ducks back down. Just another effort to smear a former Daley crony. It went nowhere – just where it was intended to go.
On the other side, there’s the Trib’s involvement in the Blago Saga when one of its reporters tips off Blago that his phone is bugged by the feds. Then, behold, out comes a book by two Trib reporters that reveals the paper received special, privileged information from the US Attorney’s Office. (Even going back to the original tip-off to Blago, you suppose?)
So did you hear the Sun Times cry “Foul,” and “Hey, how’d the Trib get special treatment?”“Where’s ours?” No you didn’t – and you won’t.
Why not? Because the two papers are not competitors. It’s a combine arrangement.
They each get their share, play their designated role, and maintain the pretense of an independent, competitive newspaper environment where the truth comes out as eager reporters hustle to scoop each other on the next big story. The stuff of Hollywood movies.
In true life, the newspaper combine matches the political combine that Kass has long highlighted.
And it works, both for the pols and for the newspaper editors and reporters.
Why: Because the suckers keep reading the dead trees thinking they’re getting “the news,”when what they’re really getting is the news the combine wants them to get.
[hat tip: John “Combine” Kass]
Thomas Barton, Illinois Pay-to-Play Political Commentator
It’s hard to report serious news as light comedy. Tribune reporter Eric Zorn tried recently in his article “Matchmaker, matchmaker, make us a match-up”. But the piece was a short round.
For you lifelong civilians, a “short round” is a shell that goes out of an artillery tube after only a portion of the charge propels the business end of the shell. The dud sound that accompanies a short round is unmistakable. The shell explodes short of its target - sometimes with disastrous consequences. Anyway…
Zorn’s piece had something to do with the Republicans not being able to find a viable candidate to run against State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
He believes that the Koschman case is becoming an embarrassment to the State’s Attorney and that she may be vulnerable to an opposing Republican candidate, resulting in a real, contested election for her job. (Eric, go down the hall and let John Kass tell you about the “Combine”.)
Somebody forget to tell Eric that the G.O.P in Crook County is akin to a neutered tomcat who has a vague recollection of what the sport of politics is all about, but has no…ah…capabilities to engage in it.
“It would be nice,” Zorn wrote, if there was a “robust campaign”. Robust is such a robust word. It carries inherent gravitas, as does the word gravitas itsownself. Anyway…
Zorn’s piece would have merely remained a short round, short of being robust, but then he compared the Koschman murder to Trayvon Martin’s death and got all serious on us. Thud went his out-going round.
Of course, they’re alike in that, in both cases, one person killed another. But beyond that, they’re about as similar as the aforementioned neutered tomcat and the tiger that attacked Roy – or was it Siegfried? – during their big cat act in Vegas.
Zorn wrote, “But in both cases there remain ‘troubling questions that have yet to be answered,’ as Toomin put it Friday in his analysis of Koschman. And in both cases, those agencies closest to the original investigation are poorly situated to provide satisfying answers to those questions.”
Well, gee, it’s taken eight years for a judge to come to that conclusion in the Koschman case. But in the Martin case, after about seven weeks, the locals still have control of the investigation and are being scrutinized by the entire national media. Yet, already, Zorn is saying the fix is in?
George Zimmerman was arrested on April 11, 2012, and charged with Second Degree Murder in the death of Trayvon Martin. State Attorney Angela Corey is for real.
But where was Zorn, and where were the other Trib reporters in the days, weeks, and years after David Koschman was killed in 2004?
Zorn wants a real election for Alvarez’s seat. Chicago wants a real newspaper with “Tribune” in the banner.
To parody the close of Zorn’s piece:
Serious responses only. Call 800-500-DOPE and ask for Phil Cline. No baggage. No weirdos.
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois Pay-to-Play
The lead attorney for Eric Holder’s Department of Selective Justice in the Northeastern District of Northern Illinois has, for years, been sitting on taped conversations that outline how the McMahon companies in Chicago have long played games with city contracts.
Recently, the Sun Times put the McMahon’s in their journalistic crosshairs by citing a Daniel T. Frawley “Whistleblower” lawsuit that we, at IP2P, don’t believe exists. Now why would they do that?
Because these days the Times gets its marching orders from His Honor Mayor Emanuel, who is out to destroy the myth of the Daley Machine as a regime that made Chicago “the City that works”. (Meanwhile, the snoring Trib takes it's orders from Rip van Winkle.) Rahm aims to be heralded as the man who cleaned-up Chicago by revealing the true Daley image as having facilitated “the City that cheats”.
And cheat it does. The whole nation knows that. But the nation also assumes that its local branch of the U.S. Department of Justice is working hard to hinder the cheating. After all, aren’t the crooks of Cook County continually hunted by those intrepid FBI agents of Patrick “Elliott Ness” Fitz’s office, ever alert to the opportunity to stop crime sprees, a la Blago’s. That’s the meme anyway.
IP2P has recently received summaries of federally monitored conversations from years past that suggest a more accurate image of the local office of Holder’s Department of Selective Justice. This one suggests an investigative organization on a long voyeuristic trek when it comes to Chicago corruption. It hides in the shadows, listens in on conversations, and watches criminal activities for years as it waits for…waits for what?
It waits for a green light from incumbent politicos to signal when it’s politically expedient to take out a crooked politician, or a bent real estate speculator? Or, in the David Koschman case, it sits on evidence of a crooked police official who hindered the murder investigation, and thereby it, too, becomes complicit in the long denial of justice to Mrs. Nancy Koschman for the murder of her son. That’s not Ness-like behavior.
On several occasions, Fitzgerald has said that corruption can only stop when citizens come forward to report what they know. So should we at IP2P be good citizens and send what we’ve been given to Fitz for further, extensive, thorough, professional “investigation”? Why bother - they already have it, and have had it for years.
What about the U.S. Attorney’s office enforcing the law based on what they already know?
If not now – then when? When a politician says it’s “OK”?
Update: In the Koschman case then, and McMahon accusations now: What did the feds know, and when did they know it?
Update: Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic
Can the editors at the Sun Times connect the article below to their editorial today entitled “Time to stop defending shabby Koschman probe”? All it requires is connecting the dots. Can they even see the dots?
Here’s their key editorial comment: “It’s time to stop defending a shabby investigation that came to the highly dubious conclusion that Vanecko acted in self-defense.” That’s a certified affirmation of the obvious, albeit several years late to the party.
Now, Times editors, who was a key player in promoting that “highly dubious conclusion”? (Cue the Jeopardy music.) Take your time…
Ah, perhaps Chicago’s former top-cop - Phil Cline – featured below? Ya think?
(Original post 4-8-2012 )
Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter, Illinois PayToPlay
On February 28, 2011, when the Sun Times resurrected the Koschman case, the paper noted that,
“Phil Cline, who was then Chicago’s police superintendent, said last week that no charges were filed because Koschman was the aggressor. ‘At the best, it was mutual combatants,’ Cline said. ‘If the other person is the aggressor, then Vanecko has the right to defend himself.’”
Over a year later, on April 6, 2012, the Sun Times noted that, “Cook County Circuit Judge Michael P. Toomin in announcing his ruling that a special prosecutor will re-examine the 2004 death of David Koschman after being punched by Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko, a nephew of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley” stated that:
“A decided interest in preventing or impeding the prosecution, a denigration of the existing exculpatory evidence and, probably the most prominent impropriety, the fiction of self-defense, supported only by oft-repeated conclusions that David Koschman was the aggressor, a host of statements in the exhibits, detectives, particularly Detective [James] Gilger, the last to be quoted, Superintendent Phil Cline, Mr. O’Brien and the state’s attorney herself.”
It’s beyond dispute that Cline played a pivotal role in assuring that the investigation into the fatal assault on David Koschman was stunted by the “oft-repeated conclusions that David Koschman was the aggressor”.
So, how long have the feds known that Cline was, according to a June 2011 email sent from Daniel T. Frawley to a confidential source simply referred to as “Bob,” a protective “buddy” of Frank McMahon?
McMahon has been recently accused by the Sun Times of engaging in fraudulent business practices in contracts with the City of Chicago.
IP2P recently received this email from a confidential informant. It purports to chronicle the transcript of a bar room conversation between Frank McMahon and “Dan Hebert.” The identity of the person recording the conversation, and the event date, are withheld.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dan Frawley <email address deleted>
Date: Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 3:53 PM
Subject: TAPE MADE AT HAWKEYE BAR AND GRILL 1410 TAYLOR ST.
To: robert XXXXX <email address deleted>
BOB THE SAME TWO AGENTS WERE IN THE BAR LISTENING WHILE THIS TAPE WAS MADE
SECOND DISC RECORDING/ HEBERT MCMAHON HAWKEYE’S
ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVILEGE DOCUMENT/ E. KARNES
I cannot be arrested in Chicago or Cook County it is impossible. Phil Kline is my buddy; I have known him for 20 years. I take care of the Police in Chicago. Phil Kline helps me with my Milk business, if I need anybody pushed around Phil Kline takes care of it for me. I never have any trouble with the Milk drivers; Phil takes care of it, if something is going on at the District, the H.Q. anything, I take care of it. I am on the police memorial Board, I am on a lot of Boards, I contribute money to all of them. Phil Kline and I vacation together in Florida 3-4 times a year, we are real tight.
How about Hinsdale Frank?
When I lived in Hinsdale I would have the Chicago Police drive me home when I was drunk, wherever I was. One Police officer would drive my car and the other copper would follow in the Chicago squad car. I could walk out of Hawkeye’s right now and call the CPD and they would come and pick me up, ha-ha!
I had a Hinsdale Cop pull into my driveway while the CPD squad was there. The Hinsdale cop said, “What’s going on here?” I said, “ the cops drove me home, I’m drunk when I’m sober I drive when I’m drunk the CPD drives.” Hinsdale PD “ I do not understand. Whey don’t they arrest you?” Frank-“Because I am a good Fucking guy, I take care of them.”
Two weeks later Phil Mesi, my cousin and I were all fucked up we had two CPS squads follow us home to Hinsdale, One guy driving my car one driving Phil’s. Two more Hinsdale squads pulled us over and said, “Why are the CPD not arresting you?” I said, “ I’m a good guy. I get the cops whatever they need. I do what ever the coppers need,” “What do you need?” “What does Hinsdale need?” “Booze?’ The Christmas Party, I will pay for whatever it is.” “Now in Hinsdale when the cops pull my kids over they apologize to them and ask how their father (me) is. I paid for all for the Hinsdale Parties. When I moved to Chicago my neighbor, Bataglia, the grocery guy took over Hinsdale for me.
I do the same with the County workers, prosecutors, courts, Police, etc. I take care of all of them any thing they need. Mary B. my daughter is a prosecutor at 26th & California. Mary B.’s boy friend is Judge Mike Murphy’s son. Judge Murphy is out at the Maybrook Courts. Franny my other daughter is in law school. Franny works for Devine’s office on Washington, if she wants to do be a State’s attorney after graduation I’ll get her in there. (Franny is now a State’s Attorney)
I told my kids, “Never admit anything.” Frank got busted using false ID’s in Forest Park, he was using my brothers Tony's son, Tony’s ID’s. Frank got caught and admitted it to the Police, the kid is stupid. ‘I thought you could talk to the Forest Park Cop for me but my Daughter Mary B. knows the prosecutor and has taken care of it, the judge who will be assigned to the case will be known on Monday and I’ll find out who the judge is. I can do a lot with judges in Chicago. Mary B. has taken care that.
I want Mary B. to become a judge, I have met with the judges down the street from 26th and California to take care of that, if that is what she wants she is in.
Frank tell them about the BIG copper
Chicago has a big cop on the Eisenhower around Kedzie, The guy is famous, 6’8” 325 lbs. I am really drunk and I get pulled over the copper sees me and apologizes to me for pulling him over and wishes me a good night and to drive save.
Another time the cops came up to my car and I had $15 grand cash on me.
Does this mean that the U.S. Attorney’s Office sat silent as the Koschman investigation was sabotaged for years, and, all the while, was aware of the protective relationship between Chicago’s top-cop and an alleged corrupt city contractor?
Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic
“Crocodile tears (or superficial sympathy) are a false or insincere display of emotion such as a hypocrite crying fake tears of grid
In a March 30, 2012 article entitled “Nanci Koschman fights for her boy,” Sun Times reporter Carol Marin wrote:
“What Nanci Koschman is doing takes courage.
She sat, quietly crying at times, in the first row of Courtroom 606 at the Cook County Criminal Courts on Thursday as her attorneys asked Judge Michael Toomin to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the events surrounding her son’s death.
When David Koschman’s head hit the curb that awful night, he never woke up. Eleven days later, he was taken off life support at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. And died in his mother’s arms.
She and David were a mother-son team. She watched over him. He looked after her. She worked multiple jobs, as a school secretary, at Carson’s, in a doctor’s office and as a restaurant hostess to keep them afloat.
She kissed him good night that evening, told him she loved him and sent him off to the city she had taught him to love.”
So the article went, exploiting the saga of sadness through which the mother of murdered David Koschman has suffered for eight, terrible years.
If you’re reading Marin’s piece on Mars, you might think – “Well, thank goodness a newspaper there is keeping alive this story of political favoritism shown to the nephew of a powerful politician – favoritism to the point of apparently letting him avoid, at minimum, charges of involuntary manslaughter. Ah, the free and independent press on planet Earth at its best.”
Think that and you’d be wrong on Mars.
The Sun Times sat on the story for most of those eight years – essentially muted. Rendered silent from what? Fear of retribution from a powerful political regime and its many influencial backers? Fear of being shunned in the crony bars and press clubs where the Second City movers-n’-shakers hobnob? Exchange gossip. Get the inside scoop.
Maybe fear of being labeled muckrakers and naysayers. Or, some combination of all of the above, and more.
(Never mind the Chicago Tribune. They didn’t have to check out of the story. They never checked in.)
It doesn’t matter why the Sun Times ignored the story. What does matter is this:
Early on, the paper did a flyby, reported basic facts, and stopped digging for the truth – if it ever started. Oh sure, the truth was buried deep by officialdom. But, then that almost always happens when the truth is inconvenient. That’s why investigative reporters have to investigate.
So, when the story broke, the paper did a flyby, and moved on. And there it sat for seven years.
Then the political trade winds shifted in the Windy City and a new regime moved into City Hall.
Suddenly the paper had the green light to engage the truth of David Koschman’s death. Now comes this last piece on March 30, where we find the reporter…
Crying crocodile tears for Mrs. Koschman.
Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic
This dated picture of former Mayor Daley and current State’s Attorney Lisa Alvarez was recently brought to the attention of two Sun Times Watchdogs by “lawyers for the family of David Koschman, who died after the police say Vanecko punched him in the face.” (Well, shoot, the dogs can’t find every bone in the Koschman story.)
The photo was found on Alvarez’s Facebook page, by the Koschman family lawyers.
The same Watchdogs who posted the photo, also wrote an article entitled “Did Daley nephew Vanecko confess to fatal punch?” that appeared on March 21, 2012. The news in the article – that Vanecko may have confessed, soon after the event, to hitting Koschman – is attributed to “attorneys for Koschman’s family” who made the assertion “in a court filing Wednesday.”
So, about eight years after the death of David Koschman, the real watchdogs – as in alert canines trained to attack nefarious characters – turn out to be…drum roll…the Koschman lawyers, and not so much the byline Watchdogs.
Awakened to the barking, the Sun Times Watchdogs, trot toward the commotion, arriving on the crime scene, panting, a couple of years short of a human decade later – or, in dog years, 70 years late.
You suppose their tardiness has anything at all to do with having a new mayoral regime, open to exposing the…ah, deficiencies…of the previous one? Or, the fact that Mayor Emanuel has several campaign finance contributors on the new Sun Times board?
Jontel Kassidy, Capital Correspondent
Illinois PayToPlay has learned that, since January 19, 2012, two reporters and one editor at the Chicago Sun Times have held relevant information provided by an informant concerning Daniel Frawley’s claim that he gave Tony Rezko $400,000 in cash that Rezko then passed on to U.S. Senator Barack Obama.
No one at the paper has either acknowledged receipt of the information, expressed an interest in how it was obtained, nor queried the source for additional details.
On February 27, 2012, Illinois PayToPay investigative reporter Hugo Floriani reported that:
“Frawley’s claim that the money he gave Rezko went to Obama is alluded to in a December 1, 2010 deposition executed in the context of a legal malpractice complaint filed by Frawley, on July 9, 2010, against his former attorney and long-time friend, George Weaver.
Frawley alleges that Weaver was not representing his best interests when Weaver interrupted a March 2006 phone conversation, supervised by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, between Frawley and Rezko who were scheduling a face-to-face meeting.
Frawley cooperated with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation of Rezko by wearing a wire.
On page 21 of the deposition, this exchange is recorded between Weaver’s attorney, Daniel F. Konicek, and Frawley:
Konicek: And Tony Rezko was where when you were speaking to him?
Frawley: He was on the other end of the phone. I don’t recall where he was.
Konicek: Okay. Now, that answers one part of the question is who was present when Mr. Weaver made a gesture across his neck with both hands [signaling that the conversation should cease]. But my question was a little different because your complaint specifically alleges he [Weaver] told you to withhold certain information, right.
Konicek: I’m assuming the information is about the payments made by Rezko to Obama, so we know we’re talking about the right conversation, right?
Franklin: (Charles Franklin, representing Frawley.) I’m not going to make any objection. I think that’s – you may make that assumption, but I think it’s unfair to make the – to have Mr. Frawley make the assumption. Also, it doesn’t go to who or where or the forum non conveniens issue.
Konicek: There’s going to be multiple conversations, I want to make sure I understand where each occurred. So you said he (Weaver) withheld information. Am I correct it was about Obama being paid by Rezko?
The Witness: (Frawley) I’m not answering that question based upon my attorney’s instructions.
Since the July 11, 2011 Times article that linked to the deposition cited above, there’s been no mention by the paper of the alleged payment of Rezko to Obama using money Rezko received from Frawley.
Perhaps the paper is sitting on the story, waiting for it to hatch. Just as they sat for seven years on the story of David Koschman’s murder and then hatched it on August 4, 2011.