Cook County Judge Michael Toomin has decided against opening a report by special prosecutor Dan Webb in relation to the David Koschman murder case.
NBC Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times joined forces to request that the judge unseal the files, arguing that the 162-page report should not have been sealed without a hearing and that it is in the public interest to release the information.
The judge did, however, say he would unseal the file after the involuntary manslaughter trial of Richard Vanecko is over. The trial of former Chicago mayor Richard Daley's nephew is set to begin in February. The charges stem from the 2004 death of 21 year-old Koschman following a late-night street fight between the victim and his friends and a group of men that included Vanecko on Chicago's Rush Street bar strip.
“It had been our hope that we might see it today, but our disappointment is tempered by the understanding that at the end of the Vanecko trial the report will be released,” Locke Bowman III, an attorney for the Koschman family, said in response to the judge's decision.
The judge said the media's request centered on grand jury issues and their arguments did not meet the provisions necessary for grand jury proceedings to be made public prior to a trial's completion, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Toomin also denied a request from the Fraternal Order of Police to permanently seal the record, arguing that the union was wrongly acting "as an advocate" in the case and noted that the request was seeking to have the judge take part in "an unprecendented role of censorship."