Former Daley bodyguard questioned by Koschman special prosecutor
By MICHAEL SNEED email@example.com December 5, 2012 7:28PM
David Koschman (left) and Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko
Updated: January 7, 2013 1:30PM
The Koschman case . . .
Sneed hears a former bodyguard for Mayor Richard M. Daley has been questioned by the special prosecutor’s office investigating the killing of David Koschman, who allegedly was punched by Daley’s nephew, R.J. Vanecko.
◆ The line of questioning: Did the mayoral bodyguard, who has a relative involved in the Koschman case, chauffeur around Vanecko — who was indicted this week on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for the 2004 death of 21-year-old Koschman of Mount Prospect?
◆ Backshot: The bodyguard was removed from the mayoral detail by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and is now part of a federal discrimination lawsuit filed by 11 former white and Hispanic mayoral bodyguards who claim they were dumped, yet black officers with less experience and seniority were retained. The suit claims the city broke rules against racially and politically motivated hiring.
The Vanecko file . . .
Sneed is told that Vanecko, who returns to Chicago from his home in California for his arraignment Monday, has intermittently sought and held jobs on movie sets but “is kind of a bust -out, unable to make enough money to support himself,” according to a Sneed source familiar with him.
Abbey blabby . . .
Word is that the creators of the hit Brit TV series “Downton Abbey” are looking into merchandising housewares and crockery of the period used on the set. Hmmm. How about the corsets?
The Romney file . . .
If you are wondering what former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was buying at Costco — in addition to foodstuffs — the multimillionaire businessman was shopping for cheap Christmas wrapping.
Cop shop . . .
Please note our oops! Sneed’s fingers were typing so quickly we substituted the number “9” with the number “5” when referring to the police district with the largest shooting increase in the city this year in our Wednesday column on the shakeup in the police department.
Cabinet chat . . .
Sneed is told that President Barack Obama definitely wants a Lincolnesque “Team of Rivals” atmosphere in his cabinet . . . well, sort of. And for that reason Obama just chatted with former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel from Nebraska, who co-chairs Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board, about a possible place in his Cabinet — adding fuel to the rumors that Hagel may be considered for secretary of State or Defense.
The Ax man . . .
Mustache countdown!!!! Former top Obama political strategist David Axelrod, the man with the 40-year ’stache, has 24 hours to go before he shaves it off on the “Morning Joe” show Friday. Axelrod promised he would lose the broom if he could raise $1 million for CURE, an epilepsy research foundation.
“The reality is beginning to stare me in the face!” chirped Axelrod to Sneed. Axelrod claims he may grow it back depending on wife Susan’s edict.
The Pitt stop . . .
The latest twaddle via the Aussies’ Herald Sun newspaper is an invite dispatched to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to attend the wedding of Pitt’s ex-wife, Jennifer Aniston, to actor Justin Theroux. The paper said it was Theroux’s idea to show there are no hard feelings between the couples.
Lost & found . . .
A police bloodhound named after Kelli O’Laughlin, a 14-year-old girl who was murdered in her Indian Head Park home in 2011, just gave the girl’s mother Brenda an early Christmas gift.
◆ To wit: The sheriff’s police bloodhound, who has been in training to find missing people, found a lost and severely injured man in a south suburban Cook County forest preserve within six minutes of being released.
◆ O’Laughlin, who had given the dog a medallion to wear when she worked, was stunned — but not surprised when told what “Kelli” had done.
◆ Translation: O’Laughlin had been looking for a cross that day that she hadn’t seen since her daughter’s death — and she found it shortly before the bloodhound had saved the life of the missing man.
◆ Quoth O’Laughlin to the police: “I’m taking it as more than a sign.”
Sneedlings . . .
Thursday’s birthdays: Judd Apatow, 45; Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 55, and JoBeth Williams, 64.