Michael Cook

Michael Cook
5:45 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Cook Gets Two Years In St. Clair County Heroin Case

Michael Cook is sworn in as a St. Clair County judge in 2010. He was sentenced on March 28 to two years in federal prison on drug and weapons charges.
Credit (Derik Holtmann/Belleville News-Democrat) / (http://www.bnd.com)

A former St. Clair County judge will spend two years in federal prison for federal drug and weapons charges. 

"When judges fall from grace, we expect them to land a little bit harder than the rest of us," said Judge Joe Billy McDade when he handed out the sentence to Michael Cook this afternoon. Cook pleaded guilty in November to heroin possession, and to being a drug user in possession of a firearm.

Read more
Michael Cook Sentencing
5:05 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Federal Court Rejects Plea Deal For St. Clair County Judge Caught Up In Drug Scandal

Judge Michael Cook is sworn in as a St. Clair County judge in 2010.
(Derik Holtmann/Belleville News-Democrat) (http://www.bnd.com)

A federal court in Illinois has rejected a plea agreement that would have sent former St. Clair County judge Michael Cook to prison for 18 months on drug and weapons charges.

Judge Joe McDade, who normally presides over federal cases in Peoria, Ill., told attorneys for both sides today that he did not believe the proposed sentence was long enough to assure St. Clair County residents that their judiciary was in good hands. McDade was assigned to the case after two judges from the Southern District recused themselves. 

Read more
Metro East Rally
2:59 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Metro East Residents Rally For More Transparency In Government

Lee Griffin, the chair of Metro East Citizens for Social and Economic Progress, addresses protesters outside St. Clair County headquarters on Dec. 27, 2013.
Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon)

A group of citizens fed up with what they call a lack of transparency and responsiveness in St. Clair County government aired a wide variety of concerns today outside the county's headquarters in Belleville.

Read more
9:25 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Former St. Clair County Circuit Judge's Heroin Supplier Pleads Guilty In Federal Court

St. Clair County circuit judge Michael Cook.
Credit (Derik Holtmann/Belleville News-Democrat) / (http://www.bnd.com)

Federal prosecutors say a southwestern Illinois man who admitted to trafficking heroin supplied the narcotic almost daily to a former judge now facing drug and weapons charges.

Thirty-four-year-old Sean McGilvery of Belleville pleaded guilty to heroin conspiracy and possession Thursday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis.
 Prosecutors say Michael Cook was a St. Clair County circuit judge when he got heroin from McGilvery "on an almost daily basis."

Read more