Heroin Judge Quits: Michael Cook Faces Federal Charges; What's Next For Illinois Judge?
The heroin judge quits pending allegations against him that he harbored illicit drugs. Illinois Judge Michael Cook, a judge for St. Clair County, announced his resignation from the bench on Wednesday, Business Insider reports.
Cook is at the center of a mounting courthouse drug scandal after a colleague of his died from cocaine intoxication while the two were staying in Cook's hunting cabin near the Mississippi River. St. Clair Country judge Joe Christ died in a bathroom in the cabin in March from an apparent overdose. According to AP, federal prosecutors arrested Cook shortly after an autopsy on Christ's body showed he died from a cocaine overdose.
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Christ was 49 and the father of six children. He died just a few weeks after being sworn in as a judge.
Cook, the 43-year-old "heroin judge" is being charged with possessing heroin and a gun, and using controlled substances. Cook, who became an associate circuit judge back in 2007, pleaded not guilty and was released on bail last Friday.
Cook, who, according to AP, is currently in rehab, delivered his resignation via a letter delivered to the county's chief judge by one of Cook's attorneys. Cook will not be charged in Christ's death. Coroner Paul Petty, who performed the toxicology tests on Christ, said he believed Christ's death was accidental.
Fox 2 Now reports that two other people were arrested in connection to the heroin judge who quit. Forty-five-year-old James Fogarty was charged with distribution and intent to distribute an illicit drug (cocaine), and Sean McGilvery was also arrested for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Fogarty remains in jail without bond. Investigators say Fogarty hawked cocaine to Cook and Christ.
Cook remains on bail pending the investigation into the courthouse drug scandal.
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