BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI)-- The drug scandal rocking Illinois' legal system continues to have consequences. The St. Clair County State`s Attorney said he`s almost completed random drug tests on his employees. But as Fox 2`s Chris Hayes explains, current drug testing at the Probation Office did not catch cocaine use that sparked this scandal.
The man accused of dealing drugs to Judges was a probation officer. He was working under an office that already mandated drug testing.
St. Clair County Prosecutor Brendan Kelly said, "This is a man made disaster and unfortunately we don`t have FEMA to come in and clean this up."
Kelly is describing how his office now has to clean up. Kelly said he appointed a full time person to review thousands of cases connected to two Judges accused in a drug conspiracy. He said no one in his office has tested positive in the new random drug testing. But apparently neither did a former probation officer accused of being the drug dealer. The probation office already tests employees for drugs. Yet the U.S. Attorney's office said James Fogarty distributed cocaine to Judge Michael Cook and the late Judge Joe Christ, who died of a cocaine overdose. Suspect Fogarty`s own attorney, Clyde Keuhn, said his client has a history of drug use. So I asked Kelly his reaction, considering Fogarty's former job as a probation officer.
Kelly answered, "Obviously drug tests are not completely fool proof and it`s not a panacea. It`s not a silver bullet that`s going to solve all our problems. What it can do is make sure people that are public employees, that are working in the criminal justice system, that they are being watched, watched with an added intention that the average person on the street doesn`t necessarily have."
Chris Hayes followed up, "Does that raise your antennas, though, to hear (Fogarty) is reported to have a history of drug use?"
Kelly, "Oh, absolutely. I find it deeply disturbing."
It`s also interesting to note that the accused Judges and the former probation officer were surrounded by people trained to spot warning signs of drug users. We`ll be monitoring the Federal investigation to see if it reveals whether those professionals missed those warning signs or ignored them.
Ill. Judge Dies of Drug Overdose, Another Charged With Drug Possession
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