Thursday, May 30, 2013

ILL-inois: Judicial hellhole judges and drug abuse

Illinois' St. Clair County has drawn the notice of the American Tort Reform Foundation as a judicial hellhole.

If attorneys ever mused if the downstate county's judges were on drugs--they'd be right, tragically so in one case.

From the Chicago Tribune:
An Illinois judge resigned on Wednesday, days after he was charged in federal court with possession of heroin and weeks after a fellow judge died of a cocaine overdose while the two were on a hunting trip.

Michael Cook submitted his resignation as a St. Clair County Circuit Court judge and is now undergoing treatment for drug abuse, said his attorney, Thomas Keefe.

Cook has been involved with two drug-related incidents in recent months.

Cook was arrested on May 22 at the home of an alleged heroin dealer and faces heroin possession and gun charges, according to attorneys and court records.

The second incident occurred on March 10, when Cook called 911 from his hunting cabin after he found St. Clair County Judge Joe Christ, 49, dead in a bathroom, according to Paul Petty, the coroner and sheriff in Pike County, Illinois.
Petty said Judge Christ died from cocaine abuse. Guns, which are severely restricted in many Prairie State jurisdictions, were found in the cabin.

St. Clair County is south Illinois' infamous Madison County, America's poster child for judicial hellholes.

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