• Prosecutor: Feds probe southwestern Ill. judge

    by  • May 23, 2013 • News

    (AP) — A southwestern Illinois judge’s docket of hundreds of cases has been reassigned after the county’s top prosecutor revealed that the judge is under federal investigation. courtgavel_1353175955264_328934_ver1.0_320_240

    St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelley didn’t detail the reason for the investigation. But he said he filed a complaint Thursday against Circuit Judge Michael Cook with state judicial discipline regulators.

    Kelly and the county’s chief judge, John Baricevic, says they’ve been cooperating with federal authorities.

    Kelly says he has “actively assisted in and advanced a federal investigation” of the judge. He says that aid resulted in law-enforcement searches of Cook’s Belleville home and his hunting cabin in western Illinois’ Pike County.

    Calls on Thursday to Cook’s judge’s chambers and his home were not answered.