An attorney for the CTA by day, Sladjana Vuckovic faces criminal felony charges of bringing contraband – a cellphone – into a jail in her capacity as a volunteer defense attorney in a high-profile case. Her client is charged with the murder of Chicago Police Officer Michael Flisk.
The charges have started a debate among lawyers, reports the Tribune. Some lawyers say they’ve never heard of such charges being brought before Vuckovic found herself in court four months after the incident occurred while interviewing her client Timothy Herring, a suspect in the South Chicago murder.
From the Tribune report:
There are no signs in police stations warning against bringing a
cellphone into an interview room, the lawyers said, and detectives
rarely ask them to leave their belongings outside.
“If the state is attempting to interpret the statute so broadly that it
includes the interview rooms at the police stations, then hundreds of
lawyers in Illinois are committing Class 1 felonies on a daily basis,”
said Richard Dvorak, a civil-rights lawyer who also is a member of the
First Defense advisory board.
Prosecutors have not alleged the calls were meant to obstruct their investigation, but that clearly appears to be their concern.
Until the case is resolved, the CTA has revoked the privilege it granted her to volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid.
I’m not sure who is right here, but I know one thing for sure – you gotta cross your i’s and dot your t’s when defending an alleged cop killer.