A plea deal for former St. Clair County Judge Michael Cook is being tossed out and will have to be reworked. Cook pleaded guilty to heroin possession and gun charges in November, agreeing to an 18-month sentence. The judge in the case rejected the deal this afternoon.
Some judicial experts feel the Cook case could lead to hundreds of cases he presided over being retried or dismissed. Cook had presided over more than 1,700 felony cases, and was the sitting judge on the county's drug court. Problems in the St. Clair County law enforcement community first came to light when fellow judge Joe Christ was found dead on the bathroom floor of the Cook's family's hunting cabin in Pike County nearly a year ago. Christ died of cocaine toxicity.