• Illinois judge accused of heroin possession resigns

    by  • May 29, 2013 • News

    (AP) A southwestern Illinois judge whose colleague died of a cocaine overdose while the two were on a hunting trip is stepping down from the bench as he defends himself against federal heroin and gun charges. blind_justice

    St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook resigned Wednesday through his attorney by letter to the chief judge, John Baricevic. Baricevic says the letter is brief and doesn’t offer a reason for Cook’s departure.

    Cook was charged Friday with possessing heroin and having a gun while illegally using controlled substances. He’s pleaded not guilty.

    The Illinois Supreme Court now must pick Cook’s replacement.

    A fellow judge, Joe Christ, died of a cocaine overdose in March while with Cook at the Cook family’s hunting cabin in western Illinois’ Pike County. That probe continues.