A St. Clair County Judge has ruled that pending civil suits against convicted former local attorney Tom Lakin may proceed. Lakin was convicted in 2008 after pleading guilty to federal charges of possession with intent to deliver cocaine and other drug related charges connected to his East Alton home. He pleaded no contest to a state charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse back in October and continues to serve time in prison.

A judge had placed civil suits against Lakin on hold until the criminal proceedings were complete and now that federal and state cases are finished, Judge Andrew Gleason lifted a stay on the suits filed by attorney Ed Unsell who first filed a lawsuit against Lakin in 2006. Unsell is representing one of the victims of sexual abuse connected to Lakin's case. The 71 year old former democratic power broker is serving his federal sentence out of state and is expected to be released next November. While his state sentence resulted in no additional prison time, he must register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.