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Illinois Judge Michael Cook Faces Heroin, Gun Charges, Wears "Bad Is My Middle Name" Shirt

Categories: Crime

cocaine-image.jpg
via
Accusations that multiple St. Clair county court officials bought and used drugs have prompted a federal investigation, and based on the latest accounts, there is a lot to investigate. In what is shaping up to be a truly unbelievable case, authorities say that Circuit Judge Michael Cook and Associate Judge Joseph Christ both bought cocaine from a man named James Fogarty, a probation officer in the county. Cook and Christ then allegedly went to the Cook family's hunting lodge in Pike County -- where Christ reportedly died from a cocaine overdose.

In addition to the scrutiny Cook, 43, is facing over his colleague's death, the judge is now up against charges of heroin possession -- and illegal firearm possession.

If that wasn't absurd enough, at his hearing on Friday, Cook, reports say, wore cut-off jeans and a blue t-shirt that said, "Bad is my middle name."

This scandal widened on Friday with Fogarty, the probation worker, facing charges that he repeatedly used cocaine with the two judges -- and provided the fatal dose, the Post-Dispatch reports.

Fogarty, 45, is up against cocaine possession and distribution charges.

michael-cook-ksdk.jpg
via KSDK screenshot
Michael Cook.

And Cook is facing a misdemeanor charge of heroin possession as well as a charge of having a firearm while illegally using a controlled substance. He pleaded not guilty last week.

News of these charges came out just as toxicology reports offered more details on the death of Cook's colleague on his property. Christ, a 49-year-old father of six, was found dead in a bathroom at the Cook family lodge about 65 miles north of St. Louis on the night of March 10, police say. He was sworn in as a judge just a week prior to his death.

The criminal complaint against Cook also alleges that he is a drug addict.

Fogarty reportedly told officials that Christ had used cocaine on weekends -- and that Cook had used cocaine at Fogarty's house on about ten different occasions..

Regarding the growing scandal, John Baricevic, St. Clair County's chief judge said:

We're doing whatever we can to get to the bottom of whatever the issue is. Any community has to have confidence in public servants, including judges. That they're fair, honest and act with integrity. If they're not, we owe them an appropriate response.

Cook has a notable history working in criminal justice. He was formerly an assistant public defender and then became an associate circuit judge in 2007 before he won a six-year term in 2010 as a circuit judge.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.


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34 comments
Greg Hahne
Greg Hahne

why are they not charging the person (the probation officer) that sold them the drugs with murder like has been done so many other times with "regular" people?? seems fair to me... in reality anyone who has been sentenced by this drug court judge should have their conviction overturned and be retried and I'm sure that's not going to happen either. Our criminal justice system is completely FUCKED UP! The penalty for someone in position of power should be much greater than that of the average person but that never happens because they have corrupt friends and the money to buy their way out of shit... SAD

Nancy K Watson-Kane
Nancy K Watson-Kane

Not getting into a big argument just stating my personal opinion. Judge Cook is the Drug court judge for St Clair Co. It does make a difference. I mean for real..............seriously!!!!!!

Mary Novack
Mary Novack

Most of us know there is not justice in a rotten system, and this should prove it to the people who believed in this corrupt system

Kelly Wilkins Garon
Kelly Wilkins Garon

I totally agree with Chris. These people are human beings, and are imperfect like the rest of us. It shouldn't be any more shocking when these guys trip up than it is when you find out anyone else has a drug problem.

Max Schulze
Max Schulze

Funny how when its a Republican in the news for a negative reason, their political affiliation is plastered all over the article, especially on the RFT. However, when one of the suspects "is the son of Bruce Cook, a wealthy lawyer in Belleville who has been deeply involved in Democratic Party politics locally and nationally", there is no mention of political affiliation. I don't bring this up to say politics played any part in the alleged crimes nor to indicate Republicans commit any more/less crimes than Democrats, just simply calling the RTF out on their agenda.

max_in_missouri
max_in_missouri

Funny how when its a Republican in the news for a negative reason, their political affiliation is plastered all over the article, especially on the RFT.  However, when one of the suspects "is the son of Bruce Cook, a wealthy lawyer in Belleville who has been deeply involved in Democratic Party politics locally and nationally", there is no mention of politics.   I don't bring this up to say politics played any part in the alleged crimes nor to indicate Republicans commit any more/less crimes than Democrats, just simply calling the RTF out on their agenda.

James Filanda
James Filanda

Hell no. This is the norm over here. Everybody gets into the act. No pri-madonnas on this side of the river.

Victoria Lopez
Victoria Lopez

St Clair County is beyond corrupt. There should be an article about Mayor Eckert expanding his farm with tax payer funds. Or maybe how they're all members of the vp society

Benjamin Rogers
Benjamin Rogers

I have not had confidence in the criminal justice system in a very, very long time.

Robin Buck
Robin Buck

Business as usual...and I do mean business

Marita Donalds
Marita Donalds

@Josh Thompson - I agree. Our country is rapidly regressing. Soon we'll be in the 1850's again. Welcome back to the 'Wild West'!

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

I won't disagree that a lot of things need to be eased up on, but its far more likely you actually did what you were convicted of in this country than others. Hell, a lot of countries you just get locked up with no trial at all.

Matt Scheaffer
Matt Scheaffer

Considering we have more people jailed (as a percentage of our population) than ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE HISTORY OF EVER (including Stalin-era USSR, China and North Korea), and most of them are in there for non-violent drug charges, only to come out violent and hardened criminals, I have to disagree.

Matt Scheaffer
Matt Scheaffer

Considering over 50% of the people that go to jail are going for drugs, probably all of them many many times.

Matt Scheaffer
Matt Scheaffer

HAhahahahahahahahaahahahaha!!!! Thank you I needed a laugh today.

Matt Scheaffer
Matt Scheaffer

Yes because the govt is Missouri is not embarrassing at all.

Billy Casagrand
Billy Casagrand

Never said i was for killing people and what not, and i know the idea is stupid in itself, im just a fan of it, and ur right it is open for interpretation but when ur justice system is failing you anyway what is there really to do, man is corrupt and no one is perfect but it is what it is and thats just life

Matt Scheaffer
Matt Scheaffer

The people that enforce the law are above the law, we have all known this forfuckingever. Which is why I have zero respect for anyone who enforces the law.

Will Fitts
Will Fitts

Every systems has failures. Those are just 3 that came to light.

Josh Thompson
Josh Thompson

Uh... OK, so yeah us making up the rules and enforcing them as we see fit is... really not much better. I'm all for self defense, but "vigilante justice" is too open to interpretation of what is right or wrong. Vigilante justice is as bad as tyranny at killing innocent people, my friend :D

Chris Hocking
Chris Hocking

Why are people so shocked that these "Law Enforcement" people are drug addicts? They're people. Being a part of the judicial system doesn't mean they're "good people".

Theresa Meiners
Theresa Meiners

They better do Jail time like us regular slobs would.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

Look, our justice system is flawed, but still is far better than what the majority of the countries out there employ. The people who work within our justice system are JUST as human as we are. Should we hold them to a higher standard, of course we should. That said, we should not be surprised when some of them stumble and fall.

Billy Casagrand
Billy Casagrand

I never had confidence, to bad we cant just pursue our own form of justice against those who would wrong us, sorry im a fan of vigilante justice

Carl Campbell
Carl Campbell

There is no justice in the system, just us in the system

John Null
John Null

This while good, normal people are being locked up just for smoking marijuana. I smell horse shit here.

Darrell Ford
Darrell Ford

I wonder how many people these scumbags sent to jail for drugs ?

Josh Thompson
Josh Thompson

Wait... we *HAD* confidence in it until now???

Fred Hoffman
Fred Hoffman

wtf?..is going on in st.clair county?...

chad_garrison
chad_garrison moderator editor

In his defense, his "I'm With Stupid" t-shirt was in the wash.

xrxs1020
xrxs1020

@Max Schulze 


Since Republicans like to pretend they are aghast that anyone would ever use drugs, it's more of a story.     When a Dem falls, the fact that Dems tend to extend mercy and consideration is taken into account.     


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