IL Prosecutor Orders Employee Drug Tests After Judge Dies of Cocaine OD


After a federal official said that “a number of prominent people up in Belleville and the area around” were implicated in a courthouse drug scandal, St. Clair County's top prosecutor revealed that he has been urine-testing employees, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We must confront these dangerous, insidious drugs head on, and protect ourselves and our institutions from them,” said State's Attorney Brendan Kelly. One of his former prosecutors, Joseph Christ, 49, died of a cocaine overdose in March, less than two weeks after becoming an associate judge. Kelly said random testing was about 90 percent complete in his department. No employee tested positive so far, but one did resign after testing began and before that employee could be tested. County Clerk Robert Delaney said that he would follow Kelly's example and test his people as well. Delaney said that testing the 19 employees under his supervision was a step toward restoring the public's trust in the wake of the drug scandal. “From the comments I've been getting from people, they're losing faith in county government,” Delaney said. “I think we need to send a signal to taxpayers that my office is not full of a bunch of druggies working up there half-stoned.”

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