Illinois Judge Resigns Amid Heroin, Gun Charges

By Samantha Abernethy in News on May 30, 2013 9:50PM

2013_5_30_judge.jpg
Shutterstock
A judge in southern Illinois has resigned and is "away in treatment" as he faces federal drug and firearm charges.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook was arrested on May 15 as he left the home of a friend who now faces drug charges. He pleaded not guilty to possessing heroin, a misdemeanor, and possessing firearms while being under the influence of heroin, a felony.

A probation officer told authorities that he sold cocaine to Cook. St. Clair County Probation Officer James K. Fogarty, 45, is accused of distribution and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He told authorities that he sold an "eight ball of cocaine" to two judges, identified as Cook and former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Joe Christ. Christ was found dead from cocaine toxicity in the bathroom of Cook's hunting cabin in March.

In the meantime, a long-time friend of Cook pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of conspiracy to sell heroin. Sean McGilvery, 34, is accused of conspiring to buy large quantities of heroin in Chicago to sell in the St. Louis suburbs of southern Illinois. Cook was arrested as he left McGilvery's home on May 15.