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Man suing agencies asks for recusal of another judge

MORRIS – A Will County judge’s suspension following his use of a work computer to browse pornographic websites has Grundy County plaintiff Elton Monson asking for his removal.

Monson – the former Grundy County Veteran’s Assistance Commissioner suing various Grundy County officials – is calling for the recusal of Will County Judge Joe Polito, citing Polito’s 60-day suspension, handed down after the judge looked at pornography in his courtroom chambers.

“I don’t want to be around a person like that,” Monson said Thursday, after making a motion to recuse Polito during a status hearing Wednesday at the Grundy County Courthouse.

In his motion, Monson states Polito lacks respect and obedience of the law and judicial system.

According to the official court order entered February 2013, while Polito’s behavior was considered highly inappropriate, it did not affect his ability to perform his judicial duties. Therefore, the judge received a 60-day suspension without pay.

This is the third Will County judge Monson has requested be removed from the case – a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Monson and Kathleen Doran against Grundy County, the veteran’s commission, all three Grundy County judges and others last December.

The two judges recused before Polito had past relationships with the law firm of Rathbun, Cservenyak & Kozol, which is representing several defendants in the case.

Attorney Mike Mattingly is representing Grundy County and all Grundy County Board members in the case and said his defendants have no issue with Polito presiding over the lawsuit.

“I can only speak for myself and the county, but we have no objections to Judge Polito hearing the case,” Mattingly said Thursday.

Polito cannot rule on the matter, so a new Will County judge must be assigned to decide whether to grant Monson’s recusal request. That hearing is scheduled for Sept. 19, adding another month to the case.

Since all three Grundy County judges are named as defendants in the case, Will County judges must preside.

The two plaintiffs are representing themselves in the lawsuit and are asking for lost wages, benefits and reimbursements of $247,884.49.

In addition, they are asking for $100 million in punitive damages.

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