Figure in St. Clair County Court drug scandal pleads not guilty

2013-07-01T15:25:00Z 2013-10-01T20:03:22Z Figure in St. Clair County Court drug scandal pleads not guiltyBy Robert Patrick 314-621-5154

EAST ST. LOUIS   •   A former St. Clair County probation office employee accused of selling and using drugs with judges pleaded not guilty to federal drug charges Monday.

James K. Fogarty, 46, of Belleville, pleaded not guilty to charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and being a drug user in possession of a firearm.

Fogarty, then-St. Clair County drug court Judge Michael N. “Mike” Cook and Sean D. McGilvery, 34, were all arrested in May, over two months after the cocaine overdose death of Associate Judge Joseph Christ. Christ died March 10 at the Cook family hunting lodge in Pike County, Ill.

Federal prosecutors have accused Fogarty of selling cocaine to Cook and Christ the day before the trip. They say McGilvery was a heroin dealer and drug addict and have suggested that he may have benefited from his connections within the court system.

McGilvery and Fogarty were initially charged by complaint, then indicted last month.

Cook was indicted on charges of being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm, and a misdemeanor charge of possession of heroin. He is currently in inpatient drug treatment in Minnesota.

Robert Patrick covers federal courts and federal law enforcement for the Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter: @rxpatrick.

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