by Ray Downs
A St. Clair County probation worker who had been accused of repeatedly doing cocaine with two judges - one of whom died from a cocaine overdose - is expected to plead guilty to selling coke the men in robes were snorting.
Back in May, James K. Fogarty was charged in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis for "distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine," a charge that came about during an investigation into a widespread Belleville courthouse drug scandal that sounds like a middle-aged male version of Studio 54.
According to a May 25 report in the Post-Dispatch, Fogarty admitted to buying and re-selling cocaine to Associate Judge Joseph Christ and Circuit Judge Michael N. Cook
Fogarty had sold cocaine several times to Christ and Cook, who would get high on golfing trips and vacations at Cook's hunting lodge, where they apparently did lines of coke, shot animals.
But on May 10, the day after Fogarty sold Christ and Cook some more coke, the two judges went out to the lodge again and Christ died of a cocaine overdose. See also: St. Charles County Council Bans New Forms of Synthetic Marijuana and Cocaine Cook found his Christ's body and called 911, telling the operator he thought his friend had probably fell and hit his head face first, which is why his nose was bleeding.
Cook would later be arrested for being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm, and a misdemeanor charge of possession of heroin. He resigned from the bench on May 29.
See also: Illinois Judge Michael Cook Resigns After Drug Arrest; Checks into Rehab Facility Christ's death instigated an investigation into charges that Cook had allegedly used his powers to delay a charge against a friend accused of concealing a woman's death. That friend, Sean D. McGilvery, was accused of selling heroin.
Cook was at McGilvery's house when he was arrested.
Fogarty had originally pled not guilty, but KSDK reports he will change it. he is expected to plead guilty to the distribution of cocaine charges on November 6.