Citing their client's need to stay in a drug rehabilitation facility, attorneys for former St. Clair County circuit judge Michael Cook have asked that his trial date be pushed back.
Cook checked himself into a rehab facility in Minnesota as a condition of his bond after police arrested him in late May with heroin and a firearm.
Authorities have apparently had their eye on Cook ever since the March cocaine overdose of Judge Joe Christ at Cook's hunting cabin.
See also: - Illinois Judge Michael Cook Faces Heroin, Gun Charges - Illinois Judge Michael Cook Resigns After Drug Arrest; Checks into Rehab Facility - Judge Michael Cook's 911 Call Before Judge Joe Christ's Death; "I Love Him Like a Brother"
In a document filed in federal court on Monday, Cook waives his right to a speedy trial and his attorneys request that the date for the first hearings be moved from July 15 until the late fall. They say that while in treatment Cook is hard to get a hold of and that it would be detrimental to Cook to "split his focus between treatment and preparation, effectively undercutting both":
The defendant is currently in a drug treatment facility out-of-state where he is expected to remain for at least several more weeks. This ongoing medical treatment is at his own expense, and not at the expense of either the taxpayers or the U.S. Attorney. During this period, he is generally unreachable; additionally preparing for trial will detract from his recovery.
Cook resigned from the bench last month after he was arrested leaving an alleged drug dealer's house with heroin. Months earlier, Cook and Christ spent an evening partying at a hunting cabin before Cook discovered Christ unresponsive on the floor of a bathroom. Christ died of what was later determined to be a cocaine overdose.
Since then Cook's alleged dealer and a St. Clair County probation officer have also been netted by authorities in the scandal, with other "prominent people" in local government yet to be implicated. The investigation remains open.
Read the whole request below. It will now be up to a federal judge to determine if Cook will get the extra time he desires.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.