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Former Saint Clair Judge Michael Cook sentenced to federal prison

Former Judge Michael Cook, of Saint Clair County has been sentenced for 2-years in federal prison on charges of heroin and gun charges in November. Back in February, Cook plead guilty to a lesser sentence for 18 months but the judge denied the plea bargain citing that it was too lenient of a sentence. After service his 2-years in prison, Cook will be required to submit to 3-years probation. In addition, Cook was fined $75,583. There is a question as to whether the judge was under the influences while he presided over court sessions.

All of Cook's docket cases have been overturned and will need to be tried again. Reportedly, the county coroner reported that former Judge Joseph Christ, 49, a friend of Cook, had overdosed on heroin while he was a guest a the home of Cook's cabin in Pleasant Hill, Illinois. Christ was found in a restroom, dead from the apparent overdose on 10-March 2014. In addition, a Saint Clair County Probation Officer, James Fogarty admitted to police that he snorted cocaine with Judge Cook and Christ and also sold them drugs on other occasions. Fifarty was sentenced to 5-years in prison.

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