McGlynn appointed to judgeship formerly held by Cook

News-DemocratJune 19, 2013 

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook during his swearing in ceremony in 2010.

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The Illinois Supreme Court and Justice Lloyd Karmeier on Wednesday announced the appointment of Stephen P. McGlynn to fill the vacancy left by St. Clair County Circuit Judge Mike Cook, who is in drug treatment following his arrest last month on heroin-possession charges.

McGlynn, a Belleville Republican, was appointed to the appellate court in 2005, but lost his bid for the appellate seat in 2006 when he was beaten in the general election by Democrat Bruce Stewart. While on the appellate bench, McGlynn wrote 109 decisions and orders, and participated in 390 criminal and civil matters, according the Illinois Supreme Court announcement released on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court later appointed him to a St. Clair County Circuit Court judgeship following the retirement of Judge Michael O'Malley in 2010. He decided not to run for election for that seat, opting instead to run for an appellate court vacancy. Last year, McGlynn lost a tight race against Democratic opponent Judy Cates for a seat on the 5th District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon.

"I respectfully and humbly accept the public responsibility that Justice Karmeier and the Illinois Supreme Court have charged me to fulfill," McGlynn said. "I pledge to the people of this country that I will perform the duties assigned to me with justice and empathy for all those who appear before me."

McGlynn served as a special assistant attorney general from 1996 to 2006. He represented the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Illinois Department of Transportation in abandoned mine reclamation and eminent domain cases. He also served as a corporate counsel to the Kaskaskia Regional Port District.

McGlynn is a life member of the East St. Louis Chapter of the NAACP, providing pro bono work for the NAACP and the poor who could not afford a lawyer. He was the recipient of the NAACP Humanitarian Award in 2004 and the "Equal Justice For All" Award in 2002.

He is the chairman of the review board of the Catholic Diocese of Belleville, a body appointed by the bishop to investigate and make recommendations on how to address any allegation of sexual abuse of minors by the clergy.

McGlynn received his undergraduate degree from the University of Dayton. He received his law degree from St. Louis University in 1987.

McGlynn is married with one daughter.

"I appreciate the court's quick response to this vacancy," said St. Clair County Chief Judge John Baricevic. "Judge McGlynn's previous experience on the bench in this circuit makes this an appropriate appointment at this time."

Cook was arrested on May 22 by federal agents outside a home on North 38th Street in Belleville, the residence of his friend Sean D. McGilvery, 34, who was later charged with intent to deliver more than two pounds of heroin.

Cook, 43, was charged with one count of misdemeanor heroin possession and a felony count of being a user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on a personal recognizance bond and went to drug rehabilitation in Minnesota.

Fellow Judge Joe Christ died in March of a cocaine overdose while visiting at a hunting cabin in Pike County owned by Cook's father, Belleville attorney Bruce Cook. Mike Cook placed the 911 call to report the discovery of an unresponsive Christ, who was laying on the bathroom floor.

An autopsy report later revealed that Christ died of a cocaine overdose.

Former St. Clair County Probation Officer James Fogarty has been charged in federal court with cocaine distribution for allegedly providing cocaine to Mike Cook and Christ. Fogarty, who also pleaded not guilty, resigned. Fogarty told federal investigators that he sold $280 worth of cocaine to Mike Cook and Christ the day before they went to the cabin.

Mike Cook, who was then a sitting judge presiding over felony cases, including drug court, resigned from the bench after his arrest.

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