Cook waives right to speedy trial; Attorney seeks to continue July 15 trial

By Ann Maher | Jun 17, 2013

Former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook has waived his right to a speedy trial on drug and firearm offenses in federal court in East St. Louis.

His attorney Thomas Q. Keefe, III of Belleville also asked the court to continue a July 15 trial on the grounds that his client, who is currently undergoing drug treatment at an out of state facility, would otherwise be forced to split his focus between treatment and trial preparation, “effectively undercutting both.”

Cook was charged on May 24 with possession of heroin and being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of firearms. He entered a not guilty plea to both charges and stepped down from the bench on May 29 to seek treatment.

Keefe wrote in motion filed today that Cook’s ongoing medical treatment is “at his own expense, and not at the expense of either the taxpayer or the U.S. Attorney. During this period, he is generally unreachable; additionally, preparing for trial will detract from his recovery.”

Two other men face related charges in federal court.

Sean McGilvery of Belleville was arrested on May 23 and charged with possessing and distributing large quantities of heroin – exceeding one kilogram — in an operation where resources were pooled and drugs were run from Chicago. He has pleaded not guilty and remains in federal custody. A detention hearing for McGilvery is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. on May 20.

Cook was arrested at McGilvery’s residence on May 22.

And, former St. Clair County probation officer James Fogarty is accused of supplying drugs to Cook and to the late Associate Judge Joseph Christ who died of cocaine intoxification on March 10. Fogarty told an FBI agent that he had used drugs with Cook and Christ on multiple occasions. He also said that he supplied them with cocaine the day before the judges went to a hunting cabin in Pike County – where Christ died.

Fogarty, who has pleaded not guilty, posted a $10,000 bond and was released on June 4.

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