Criminal Justice

Federal judge nixes plea deal for ex-jurist in drug case, calls 18-month sentence 'not sufficient'


Calling an 18-month prison sentence “not sufficient,” a federal judge in downstate Illinois has nixed a plea bargain in a drug case against a former state court judge.

In an order last month, U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade signaled his doubt about the sentence. He pointed to the facts that Michael Cook was a judge and that his drug addiction and actions disrupted the St. Clair County court system and may have lessened public confidence in it, the St. Louis Post-Dispatchreports.

Cook has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor heroin possession charge and to being a drug user in possession of a firearm, which is a felony.

It isn’t immediately clear whether the case will now go to trial. A further hearing is scheduled in March.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Feds seek 10 years for man who admits he sold drugs to judge, 18 months for jurist”

Madison-St. Clair Record: “Judge rejects 18-month sentence for Cook; Hearing continued to March 29”

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