BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
OF THE
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
AND
DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

 VINCENT JAMES KROCKA,

Attorney-Respondent, 

No. 6198080.

 

Commission No.  06 CH 73

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, James A. Doppke, Jr., pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 761, complains of Respondent, Vincent J. Krocka, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on August 4, 1988, and alleges that Respondent has engaged in the following conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute. In support, the Administrator states:

COUNT I
(Conviction of child neglect and criminal mischief)

1. On April 5, 2004, Respondent barricaded himself in his home in Hillsborough County, Florida, with his two sons, one of whom was under the age of eighteen. After police were summoned, Respondent fired a gun at least six times from a second-story window, nearly missing a police officer and striking and damaging a police vehicle. During the incident, Respondent prevented his sons from leaving his home, although both eventually escaped the home unharmed.

2. On April 27, 2004, Respondent was charged in a four-count information filed in the Circuit Court of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in and for the County of Hillsborough, Florida, in a matter docketed as State of Florida v. Krocka, 04 CF 6505. A copy of the information is attached as Exhibit One. The information charged Respondent with having committed the following offenses:

  1. Count One of the information charged that on April 5, 2004, Respondent committed the offense of attempted second-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, to wit, Deputy Shawn Dugan of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department, by an act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, and that during the course of the commission of the offense, Respondent discharged a firearm, in violation of Florida Statutes 782.04(2), 775.0823(4), 775.087(2), and 775.087(1);

  2. Count Two of the information charged that on April 5, 2004, Respondent committed the offense of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, by intentionally and unlawfully threatening by word or act to do violence to the person of Deputy Shawn Dugan, and that in so doing did use a deadly weapon, to wit, a firearm, in violation of Florida Statutes 784.021, 784.07(2), 775.0823, and 775.087(2);

  3. Count Three of the information charged that on April 5, 2004, Respondent willfully or by culpable negligence neglected D.K., a person under the age of eighteen years, in violation of Florida Statute F.S. 827.03(3)(c); and

  4. Count Four of the information charged that on April 5, 2004, Respondent willfully and maliciously injured or damaged a patrol car belonging to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, resulting in damage in the value of more than $1,000, in violation of Florida Statute 806.13(1)(b)(3).

3. On April 10, 2006, following a jury trial, Respondent was convicted of the charges of child neglect and criminal mischief. Also on April 10, 2006, The Hon. Wayne Timmerman sentenced Respondent to a term of five years imprisonment on each charge, with the sentences to run consecutively, and with a 735-day credit on each charge for time incarcerated before imposition of the sentence. A certified copy of the judgment of conviction is attached as Exhibit Two.

4. On or about May 15, 2006, Respondent caused an appeal of his conviction to be filed with the Florida Court of Appeals for the Second District.

5. Supreme Court Rule 761(a) provides that it is the duty of an attorney admitted in this state who is convicted in any court of a felony or misdemeanor to notify the Administrator of the conviction in writing within thirty days of the entry of the judgment of conviction.

6. The offenses of child neglect and criminal mischief, pursuant to Florida Statutes 827.03(3)(c) and 806.13(1)(b)(3), are third-degree felonies.

7. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 761(a), Respondent was required to notify the Administrator of his conviction in case number 04 CF 6505 on or before May 10, 2006.

8. As of the filing of this complaint, Respondent had not notified the Administrator of his felony convictions in case number 04 CF 6505, as required by Supreme Court Rule 761(a).

9. As a result of the order of conviction and the conduct described above Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. conduct which is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5);

  3. failing to notify the Administrator of his conviction in writing within 30 days after the entry of the judgment of conviction, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 761(a); and

  4. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 770.

COUNT II
(Conviction of sending threatening mail, sending extortionate threatening mail,
and witness tampering
)

10. Between June 8, 2005, and June 2, 2008, Respondent, while incarcerated pursuant to his conviction in case number 04 CF 6505, referred to in paragraph two, above, wrote at least 13 letters to his then-wife that contained threats, attempts to extort her, and statements intended to prevent her from testifying against him. During that time, Respondent also wrote one letter to his son in which he attempted to persuade his son to prevent his then-wife from testifying against him. Respondent sent the letters to their recipients via the U.S. Postal Service.

11. On April 5, 2006, Respondent was charged in a seventeen-count indictment filed in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, in a matter docketed as United States of America v. Krocka, no. 06 CR 127. A copy of the indictment is attached as Exhibit One. The information charged Respondent with having committed the offenses of sending threatening mail, and sending extortionate threatening mail, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 876(b) and (c).

12. On June 19, 2008, Respondent was charged in a superseding indictment with twenty-five counts of sending threatening mail and sending extortionate threatening mail, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 876(b) and (c), and witness tampering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1512(b)(1). A copy of the superseding indictment is attached as Exhibit Two.

13. On March 6, 2009, following a jury trial, Respondent was convicted of four counts of sending threatening mail (Counts Five, Ten, Eleven, and Fifteen of the superseding indictment); four counts of sending extortionate threatening mail (Counts Thirteen, Fourteen, Sixteen, and Seventeen of the superseding indictment); and six counts of witness tampering (Counts Twenty through Twenty-Five of the superseding indictment).

14. Also on March 6, 2009, Respondent was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment as to Counts Five, Ten, Eleven, and Fifteen of the superseding indictment; 121 months imprisonment as to Counts Thirteen, Fourteen, Sixteen, and Seventeen of the superseding indictment; and 120 months imprisonment as to Counts Twenty through Twenty-Five of the superseding indictment, all such terms to run concurrently with each other, and consecutively to the sentence imposed in case number 04 CF 6505 (referred to in paragraph two, above). The court in case number 06 CR 127 also sentenced Respondent to 36 months of supervised release following the conclusion of his prison sentence; ordered Respondent to participate in a program for treatment of narcotic addiction or drug or alcohol dependency; ordered Respondent to participate in a program of mental health treatment approved by his probation officer; ordered Respondent to provide his probation officer access to any requested financial information; and ordered that Respondent would be prohibited from incurring new credit charges, opening additional lines of credit, acquisitions, or obligating himself for any major purchases without approval of his probation officer. A certified copy of the court's March 6, 2009 order in case number 06 CR 127 is attached as Exhibit Three.

15. On or about March 17, 2009, Respondent caused an appeal of his conviction to be filed with the Untied States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The matter was received and docketed as United States of America v. Krocka, no. 09-11245-H.

16. Supreme Court Rule 761(a) provides that it is the duty of an attorney admitted in this state who is convicted in any court of a felony or misdemeanor to notify the Administrator of the conviction in writing within thirty days of the entry of the judgment of conviction.

17. The offenses of sending threatening mail and sending extortionate threatening mail, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 876(b) and (c), and witness tampering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1512(b)(1), are felonies.

18. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 761(a), Respondent was required to notify the Administrator of his conviction in case number 04 CF 6505 on or before April 6, 2009.

19. As of the filing of this complaint, Respondent had not notified the Administrator of his felony convictions in case number 06 CR 127, as required by Supreme Court Rule 761(a).

20. As a result of the order of conviction and the conduct described above Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. conduct which is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5);

  3. failing to notify the Administrator of his conviction in writing within 30 days after the entry of the judgment of conviction, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 761(a); and

  4. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 770.

WHEREFORE, the Administrator respectfully requests that this matter be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board, that a hearing be held pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 761, and that the panel make findings of fact, conclusions of fact and law, and a recommendation for such discipline as is warranted.

James A. Doppke, Jr.
Counsel for Administrator
One Prudential Plaza
130 E. Randolph Drive, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Telephone: (312) 565-2600
Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:   James A. Doppke, Jr.