Judge Michael Cook Quits Amid Accusations Of Heroin Possession


Judge Michael Cook

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Update: The Illinois Supreme Court accepted St. Clair Co. Judge Michael Cook’s resignation today. Cook faces federal charges.

EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KTVI) – A St. Clair County judge faces drug charges has resigned.  Judge Michael Cook resigned on Wednesday as he defends himself against federal heroin and gun charges.

His colleague Judge Joe Christ died in Cook’s cabin while the two were on a hunting trip from cocaine intoxication. Chief Judge John Baricevic says Cook sent the notice through his attorney. Judge Baricevic sent the resignation letter to the Illinois Supreme Court for acceptance or rejection.

On Tuesday the U.S. Attorney for the District of Southern Illinois Stephen Wigginton said his investigation is wide open. There are a number of interviews still underway and multiple law enforcement agencies are involved.

Two others have been arrested in connection with this case. James K. Fogarty, 45, of Belleville is charged with distribution and intent to distribute cocaine. He was a probation worker in the St. Clair County Office. As of Wednesday he no longer works there. He is alleged to have sold the cocaine two judges used in March during a weekend party at the Cook family hunting lodge in Pike County. Judge Joe Christ was found dead of cocaine intoxication in the lodge bathroom by fellow attorney Judge Michael Cook that weekend.

Sean McGilvery of Belleville was arrested at the same time for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin. He will appear in federal court on Thursday.

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