Former St. Clair County circuit judge Michael Cook was disbarred by the Illinois Supreme Court on Friday.
Cook, who pleaded guilty in November to charges of possessing heroin and unlawfully using a controlled substance while in possession of firearms, consented to disbarment following his sentencing in federal court in East St. Louis on March 28.
Senior District Judge Joe Billy McDade, who serves in the Central District of Illinois, was appointed to preside over Cook's case that played out in the Southern District of Illinois.
McDade sentenced Cook to 24 months in prison and ordered him to pay $75,708 in fines and assessments.
Had Cook's conduct been the subject of an Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission hearing, administrator Jerome Larkin indicated he would have introduced evidence that would have "clearly and convincingly" established conclusions of misconduct.
In the statement of charges against Cook, Larkin noted that McDade considered a number of factors in determining an appropriate sentence, including the fact that Cook abused illegal drugs while he was an associate and circuit court judge, "and the resulting detrimental effect on the integrity of the judicial system caused by Movant's conduct."
Larkin stated the following conclusions of misconduct:
- Committing criminal acts that reflect adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects in violation of Rule 8.4(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);
- Conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation by committing criminal acts while serving as a judicial officer, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and
-Conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice by committing criminal acts while serving as a judicial officer, in violation of rule 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.
Cook is not yet in custody. He was given 60 days to report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
He was arrested nearly one year ago outside the home of his drug dealer Sean McGilvery of Belleville. McGilvery was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
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