WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County juvenile court judge has been named to preside over the highly politicized involuntary manslaughter case of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's nephew.
Circuit Judge Maureen P. McIntyre was named Friday in a court order signed by Chief Judge Michael J. Sullivan.
McIntyre, who was first appointed to the bench in 1996, is the presiding judge of the family division and currently handles juvenile cases including abuse and neglect, but has heard a variety of cases during her tenure.
In 2000, McIntyre was elected as a circuit judge in the 19th Judicial Circuit, which later split when McHenry County formed the 22nd Circuit. She was retained in 2006 and just last November.
Richard Vanecko was indicted last month on charges related to the 2004 death of David Koschman. He has pleaded not guilty.
Koschman died days after he fell and struck his head during a fight with Vanecko outside a bar in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. Koschman was 5-foot-5 and 125 pounds, while Vanecko, then 29, was 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds.
After another Cook County judge with ties to Daley stepped aside, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans wrote that an outside judge was needed to avoid any "appearance of impropriety."
The Illinois Supreme Court then assigned the case to the 22nd Judicial Circuit, putting the decision in Sullivan's hands.
The request was for an out-of-circuit judge, not for a change of venue. McIntyre likely will travel outside McHenry County for Vanecko's court dates.
Sullivan has said that the need for a judge from another circuit happens regularly between McHenry County and counties such as Lake and Kane, but it’s a more unusual request from Cook.
The same special grand jury that indicted Vanecko also is investigating whether authorities covered up or impeded the investigation into the Koschman’s death because of Vanecko’s relationship to the powerful Daley.