When the Vicious Sit in Judgment (Will Grigg)
Thursday May 30th, 2013
Illinois resident Michael Cook has been charged with drug and firearms offenses in East St. Louis following the death of a colleague from a cocaine overdose. Cook and his friend, Joe Christ, were staying at a hunting lodge last March 10 when Christ was found dead. Cook was accused of using heroin while in possession of firearms.
There are two unusual – and, most likely, related – aspects of this case. The first is that Cook and Christ were sitting Circuit Court Judges. The second is that Cook, despite being accused of firearms-related felonies, was released on his own recognizance – most likely as a matter of “professional courtesy” from another judge. That status was granted despite the fact that Cook is also being investigated on suspicion of using his position to benefit a friend who is accused of being a drug dealer.
Washington County, Pennsylvania Judge Paul Pozonsky is embroiled in similar difficulties. He was arrested by State Police and charged with stealing cocaine used in evidence in cases over which he presided since 2011.
How many people have Cook, Christ, and Pozonsky put in prison for indulging the weaknesses they share – but who, unlike them, have harmed only themselves?