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Prison-bound former southern Illinois judge agrees to disbarment


SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — A disgraced southwestern Illinois judge has agreed to be disbarred after he was sentenced to federal prison on heroin and gun convictions.

The Belleville News-Democrat ( reports former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook filed the agreement Thursday with the Illinois Supreme Court. Justices are to rule on the matter during their May term.

If Cook unsuccessfully challenged his disbarment, he would have had to wait five years before reapplying for a law license. With the agreement, he can reapply in three years.

Cook was at the center of a courthouse drug scandal that included a fellow judge's cocaine death.

Cook resigned last year. He pleaded guilty in November and was sentenced last month to two years in federal prison. He's to begin serving that sentence next month.

Information from: Belleville News-Democrat,

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