of a Chicago trucking company was charged July 31 with offering
a $10,000 bribe to a federal inspector in hopes of avoiding an
unsatisfactory safety rating for his fleet of trucks and his drivers,
26, of Morton Grove was ordered held without bond. Zlatkovic is
president of ATA Transport Inc., which operates a fleet of 70
trucks. Federal officials said a U.S. Transportation Department
safety review of KGB Transport Inc., which was then owned by Zlatkovic,
was conducted between March and May and resulted in an "unsatisfactory"
reported problems involving KGB's driver logs, drug testing, insurance
and truck maintenance. Zlatkovic later bought ATA and combined
it with KGB under the ATA name, according to federal officials.
They said a safety inspection of the combined company began this
month. When an unsatisfactory rating appeared to be the likely
result, Zlatkovic said he knew a certain government official and
offered $10,000 to the safety inspector if the rating could be
raised to "conditional." Federal officials said the
inspector first said no. But after reporting the incident to higher-ups,
he came back and "revisited" the issue of the $10,000,
government officials said. They said the inspector was secretly
recording the conversation as Zlatkovic agreed to pay off. At
a rendezvous that night, prosecutors said, Zlatkovic handed the
inspector $10,000 in $100 bills in return for a false conditional
rating. Prosecutors declined to name the government official Zlatkovic
allegedly told the inspector he knew.