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Detective In Koschman Investigation Will Only Serve Two Months Of One-Year Suspension

CHICAGO (CBS) -- When does a one-year suspension for police misconduct only take two months? Apparently when you're a Chicago Police officer.

The city's inspector general says it's an example of how hard it is to discipline officers and it stems from the botched investigation into the death of David Koschman at the hands of Richard Vanecko, a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley who served time for involuntary manslaughter.

Back in February, former Interim Police Superintendent John Escalante issued a one-year suspension for Detective Nicholas Spanos.

He was one of the cops implicated in the tainted investigation that cleared Richard Vanecko, a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, in the homicide of David Koschman.

Inspector General Joe Ferguson recommended the discipline, concluding Spanos was part of a squad that "failed to perform a competent investigation" into Koschman's death.

But instead of a year's suspension, Spanos will only spend about two months off the job, thanks to a deal approved by Escalante.

Ferguson says Spanos will use paid leave time he's already banked to shave ten months off his suspension.

It's a tactic Mayor Rahm Emanuel's police accountability task force wants to eliminate and specifically criticized, saying, "When a CPD member is suspended, he or she is not necessarily required to miss work or lose pay."

The task force report says the maneuver "...lessens the impact of the discipline on both the CPD and the member" and "...sends a signal to the rank and fine generally that the disciplinary system lacks rigor and bite."

Making police discipline more effective and increasing accountability was a major focus of the task force report.

Vanecko eventually pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter after a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate the death of David Koschman.

In a statement late today, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said it's "critically important" to strengthen accountability.

He has directed a full review of current policy and its implications.

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