JOSEPH C. POLITO was named an associate judge in Will County in 2006. In 2012, the Judicial Inquiry Board filed a complaint against Polito, charging him with conduct that brought the judiciary into disrepute based on his repeated efforts to visit pornographic websites on computers in the Will County Courthouse. He was suspended by the Illinois Courts Commission for 60 days in 2013. Polito retired from the bench in July this year and is now collecting a monthly pension of $6,415.78.
What the judge did: Despite Will County rules prohibiting employees from using county equipment to access sexually-explicit material, Polito repeatedly accessed pornographic websites from the computer in his chambers multiple times each week. His actions were widely reported, first by the Chicago Sun-Times. Polito acknowledged a longtime addiction to pornography, and entered a treatment program.
What the Judicial Inquiry Board did: In July, 2012, the Judicial Inquiry Board filed a complaint against Polito, contending his frequent visits to pornographic websites from the courthouse during working hours had brought the judicial office into disrepute.
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What the Illinois Courts Commission decided: In February, 2013, the courts commission suspended Polito for 60 days. While acknowledging that Polito suffered from an addiction, the commission called his behavior “highly inappropriate,” and an “inexcusable waste of judicial time.” The commission noted there was no showing that Polito’s conduct impacted his work on the bench, and noted he had agreed not to apply for reappointment at the end of his term in 2015.
What happened since: Polito retired from the bench on July 1, 2015, and is now collecting a monthly pension of $6,415.78.