ST. LOUIS—The Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday named a replacement for a former St. Clair County judge facing federal heroin and gun charges.
Stephen P. McGlynn will replace former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook, who resigned in late May after he was charged with possessing heroin and having a gun while illegally using controlled substances.
McGlynn’s appointment will be in effect July 1.
The St. Clair County coroner said toxicology tests showed that Cook’s colleague, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Joe Christ, overdosed on cocaine while staying with Cook at the Cook family’s 2,500-square-foot cabin near the Mississippi River in western Illinois.
The 49-year-old father of six was found dead in a bathroom at the lodge near Pleasant Hill, about 65 miles from St. Louis, on the evening of March 10 - little more than a week after he was sworn in as a judge.
Cook, 43, has not been charged directly in Christ’s death, though the investigation of Christ’s demise continues.
Pike County, Ill., Coroner Paul Petty said blood screenings showed there was also alcohol in Christ’s system, and that investigators seized cocaine and paraphernalia from the cabin. The two judges were the only people staying at the property at the time, said Petty, who also serves as sheriff.
Petty told The Associated Press he believes Christ died hours before Cook reported finding his body, and the coroner expects the death to be ruled accidental.
Cook was released on his own recognizance on the condition that he attend drug treatment if required by court officials, surrender his passport, and avoid firearms and drugs not prescribed to him.
A former assistant public defender, Cook became an associate circuit judge in 2007 and was appointed a circuit judge in 2010, then won a six-year term later that year.