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8/30/2013 11:36:00 AM
Fed. judge recuses himself from ex-judge's drug case

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge has recused himself from presiding in the case of an ex-Illinois judge accused of gun and drug charges.

 District Court Judge William Stiehl on Wednesday removed himself from the case of former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook. Cook has pleaded not guilty to possessing heroin and having a gun while illegally using controlled substances.  

The case was temporarily reassigned to Chief Judge David Herndon. However, Herndon said Thursday he other judges in the district have recused themselves.

Herndon said he has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago to assign a federal judge from outside the Southern District to hear Cook’s case.

Investigators say Cook was with Judge Joe Christ when Christ died from a cocaine overdose.


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