Attorney Let Accused Cop Killer Use Cell Phone

CHICAGO (STMW) — An attorney assigned to a man charged with the murders of a veteran Chicago Police officer and a former CHA cop allowed her client to use her personal cell phone to make calls while he was being questioned about the brutal murders, prosecutors allege.

Sladjana Vuckovic, 43, of Chicago, turned herself into authorities Thursday morning and was charged with one count of bringing contraband into a penal institution, a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, according to a release from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

She appeared in bond court and was released on a $10,000 individual recognizance bond, the release said.

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Vuckovic has been a licensed attorney since 1995 who works in the CTA Law Department and volunteers with First Defense Legal Aid. She appeared at Calumet Area police headquarters on Nov. 27 to represent Timothy Herring, who was being questioned in connection with the murders of Officer Michael Flisk and Steven Peters, the release said.

Vuckovic met with Herring for about an hour, during which officers allowed her to turn off the room’s audio monitoring equipment, pursuant to a police rule when an attorney is meeting with a client.

She came back the next day and again met with Herring in an interrogation room, again with the recording equipment off, the release said.

But an officer passed by and overheard what he suspected was Herring making a phone call. He opened the door to find Herring talking on a cell phone, the release said.

The officer told Herring to hang up and he handed the phone to Vuckovic. She left the station shortly after, the release said.

Investigators obtained copies of Vuckovic’s phone records, which showed several calls made to Herring’s friends and relatives while he was with Vuckovic on Nov. 27 and 28.

On each day, a three-way conference call lasting about five minutes was made between Herring, his half-brother and an unknown third party, the release said. Another person questioned by police in the investigation also told investigators she received a call from Herring while he was in custody.

Prosecutors did not reveal the subject of the calls. Nor did they say if police should have searched Vuckovic and taken her cell phone before she was allowed in the room with Herring.

Vuckovic’s attorney, Len Goodman, noted that his client rarely represents accused criminals and has never been disciplined during her 15-year career as a lawyer.

“She certainly had no malice. She wasn’t trying to obstruct justice,” Goodman said. The charge “just is inappropriate.”

Vuckovic has been with the CTA since 2008 and is a senior attorney in the agency’s torte division, CTA spokeswoman Wanda Taylor said. According to Vuckovic’s Linkedin profile, she defends “CTA and its bus and rail operators in personal injury litigation.”

Vuckovic told her department head about the arrest and she will be reassigned to work on matters unrelated to legal issues pending the outcome of the case, Taylor said.

Timothy Herring

Timothy Herring (credit: Chicago Police Department)

Herring was eventually charged with the murders of police evidence technician Michael Flisk and former CHA officer Stephen Peters. Herring, a convicted armed robber, was free on parole at the time of the murders. 

Prosecutors allege Herring was determined not to go back to prison and returned to the scene of a burglary he’d committed. Armed with a handgun and wearing an electronic tracking bracelet on his ankle, he crept up on Flisk and Peters in an alley in the 8100 block of South Burnham Ave. and shot both men dead. 

Herring has pleaded not guilty.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Ben Matlock

    Unbelievable. The CTA would employ an attorney like her with such alleged poor judgment? I applied for a job as a CTA Attorney and they didn’t even send me a rejection letter. A lawyer with bad judgment got the job I applied for?. This lawyer had no business representing a cop killer. She commited mal-practice. This defendant needed a criminal attorney. Those calls could have been recorded. She could have asked the coppers if her client could use her cell phone.

    • NWA

      Blah, blah, blah, have looked at some of the drivers they hire?


      • Anonymous

        Hi, Nig.

  • Joe Patroni

    This is what happens when you cease to merely represent a client, but “get into bed” with a client. Just like Lynne Stewart or an attorney who assists a client in laundering drug proceeds.

  • Judi

    Welcome to AMERICA!!! Anything goes and happens. Those that are truly qualified hardly ever get the jobs. Wonder who she knew?

    • Jovana

      What do you mean by “Welcome to America”, Judi? Was this comment made in regards to her name because it’s not “American” sounding? She’s lived in this country for 37 years, has been a proud Chicago resident for the same amount of time, and received her degree in Illinois. Who did she know?! She’s a great attorney and her resume speaks for itself. This has nothing to do with her working for the CTA. For about 10 years, she VOLUNTEERED once a month to represent those that could not afford legal aid. Of course there are criminals out there, but correct me if I’m wrong, doesn’t everyone have the right to an attorney whether guilty or innocent?! To all of the other comments, I say, “PUH-LEEEEZ!”.

      • Tanya Livingston

        Nobody said anthing about ethnicity or race until you brought it up. That was a generic comment or an expression meaning frustration with the red tape and process. A great attorne would not allow or give a client a cell phone in a situation where he could incriminate himself. If she ad been doing this for ten years, it constradicts what her attorney said….she doesn’t have much contact with criminal defendants.

  • shocked
  • Watching2011

    what a dumb ass . What else did she do for him ? Oral ? She should be fired and prosectued .

  • Jake

    Every time I look at his mugshot I can’t help but laugh. What a goofy looking black African negro! HaHaHaHa

  • Barry

    This guy should never have been granted parole, why do they have to do the inevitable to remain where they belong? Shame on the parole board.

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