Illinois Judge Faces Discipline After Viewing Porn In Courthouse

200px-La_grande_Epidemie_de_PORNOGRAPHIEWill County Judge Joseph C. Polito in Illinois has become the latest case of disciplinary action for watching pornography on a work computer. Polito’s use of the courthouse computer was detected on a regular check of the computer system and, to his credit, Polito admitted the misuse. The question has now become the appropriate punishment for two counts under the Illinois judicial code.

There is no indication that child porn was involved and Polito has admitted that “I used pornography as a crutch to deal with my feelings of inadequacy.” He added that “[f]or 60 years this was an inner conflict–I was ashamed, I didn’t feel good about it and tried to stop. The only way I knew to address it was in a confession with a priest.”

Polito admits the first charge of bringing his “judicial office into disrepute” but denies that he failed to conduct himself in a way that “promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.” The latter denial appears based on his view that this was not public and did not affect his decisions.

Polito is seeking professional help for a compulsive sexual disorder and attends a Sexuality Anonymous support group twice a week.

Putting aside that denial, he did admit to the use and has been subject to what he legitimately describes as “a shameful and humbling experience.” Given that, should a reprimand be enough?

This is a violation that routinely occurs in offices around the country, including government offices. There is discussion of termination for Polito but I find that a bit harsh given his admission and treatment. If he is otherwise a judge in good standing and this is just a case of viewing porn online, I would think that a reprimand and conditions like monitoring would be sufficient. What do you think?

Source: NBC

46 thoughts on “Illinois Judge Faces Discipline After Viewing Porn In Courthouse

  1. There’s no way to know if he’s sincere about his psychological problems and feelings of inadequacy. It could be simply a very good PR move. It’s more likely he just likes porn. However, the fessin’ up is laudable and I don’t believe termination is warranted. And no..it’s not because he’s a dago!!

  2. I think that the Judge should resign his position or be termnated. Most companies would fire employees who are using company computers to search for porn. He can watch as much porn as he would like with his own computer on his own time. I hope his therapy succeeds, but he should get the same treatment as any other “employee” would get.

  3. I was once helping a couple move things from their basement out of concern that flooding might occur (near the Mississippi river a fwe years ago). The husband, Dave, is an older man and wonderful piano player/teacher with an sense of humor that is very, very dry.

    Another helper made a comment about how it might be funny to accidentally get into embarassing media digging around in the basement. Dave simply said to him, “I don’t have any pornography because I don’t own a pornograph.”

  4. rafflaw, You’re assuming a fact not in evidence. That being “most companies would fire employees” for this. It may be true but I tend to think most companies would give you one violation. Plus..this is Illinois govt., as you know you can do MUCH worse than this and not get fired. This isn’t an Irish/Italian thing is it raff? Remember, my mom was Irish. This is good natured raff, I swear it.

  5. There is nothing wrong with most pornography and indeed it has been a human preoccupation since the dawn of time. There are plenty of other reasons to remove judges, or fire employees, that represent far more egregious uses of their time on the job.

  6. It’s just amazing that official acts such as these need redressing in public. I think a private censure would be appropriate, if…. There were only 2 instances… Something tells me that there was more… But whom am I to judge what an adult does that does not directly affect me? I am not god nor am I trying to play a lesser one….

  7. ” … The only way I knew to address it was in a confession with a priest.” (Judge Polito)

    That tells me all I need to know.

    Remove him from the Bench not for watching porn but for being dumb enough to do it on his work computer.

  8. nick,

    I don’t care about the porn … I do care about stupidity on the Bench … why in the world didn’t the dude buy his own laptop?

    As to women not getting porn … chuckle … you haven’t read too many, ahem, “Romance Novels” have you? Women get porn.

    In my opinion, what I’ve seen and read gets boring real fast …

  9. I can almost buy his confession. Having known a couple of alcoholics I know one of the driving forces in their life is “When can I have another drink?”. If he is sincere then he has the same problem and needs help. But, given the world in which we live, how can anyone know if he is sincere>

  10. Question: what would happen to any other court employee? I bet that person would be fired. If so, the judge should be.
    Second, a judge is expected to have some “judgement”. This guy obviously does not. He needs to go.

  11. You give him credit for admitting to watching porn, but his excuse is so disappointing. A nice healthy admission that he watched it simply because he enjoyed it would be so much better to remove our hurtful, hypocritical and puritanical cloak of morality.

  12. Blouise, Women get soft porn in prose, absolutely. However, few woman get the attraction men have to the visual component of porn. And, while a man would not get reading about lesbian love, they sure as hell love to watch it. And Blouise..men usually only watch it for a short time..clean themeslves up, and go back to work. It’s a male version of a cat nap, only you can’t have a smoke afterward unless you go into the parking lot. And again, I get that you find it boring. It’s simply a male/female thing. Finally, this is Illinois, a Chicago suburb, this is really small potatoes of an infraction for that area.

  13. “After the inception of a judicial ethics inquiry, some of the porn sites the judge visited were revealed by a Chicago-area newspaper (and based on his pervy predilections, it seems the good jurist is a chubby chaser). ” Above the Law

  14. nick, I think it is stupid and humiliating for his wife and children. Your dad gets busted for looking at “chubby lady porn”. at the courthouse. Yuck

  15. SWM, I respect your outrage, I really do. I agree it is yucky. I agree it’s tough on his family. Would it be better if he had an affair or paid for hookers? Men love porn. It’s a billion dollar industry. We can be pigs..GUILTY! I’ll say it again, women don’t get porn and I accept that totally.

  16. nick, I am not outraged at all. It is too stupid and pitiful. I now know all I care to know about “chubby chasers” and the websites they visit.

  17. SWM, There was a funny Cheers episode about “chubby chasers” only the other way. Paul had a beautiful woman he was dating. Sam tried hitting on her and got shot down. She then asked Sam if Norm was married. Sam was confused and Paul just said in his casual voice, “She’s a chubby chaser.”

  18. Are we now disparaging large women? That is offensive to me. As a large person I find your comments humiliating and degrading. Please tell me why it is fine for you to say “chubby chaser” yuck! That is mean. You obviously need help.

  19. Fonda Mantle,

    I hate to bust ur bubble but Chubby Chaser is not an offensive term in many ciricles…It means and I already think you know this answer but what the hell. it means men and women who not only like larger persons but seek them out religiously…

  20. Lets be honest…other than the fool should not have been doing that on a work computer…we Amercians are insane when the subject of sex comes up..it’s no wonder the Europeans laugh at us and our attitudes…..

  21. Sorry Fonda, but it was a quote from “above the Law”. I meant the yuck not for large people but for the humiliation to his family.

  22. Poor Tex … I was asking him about some of the material on this thread and he stopped, looked at me, and said, “What in the hell are you reading?!”

    “The blog,” I replied.

    “Oh for Christ’s sake!” and he went back to his book.

  23. Blouise, I was looking at “Above the Law” at something on legal employment and saw the story. They made it more humorous.

  24. “As we noted when we last spoke about this fellow: “Ewww.” No wonder the Sun-Times nicknamed this guy “Judge Lewdy.” On the bright side, at least Polito wasn’t accused of stroking his gavel while on the bench.” Above the Law

  25. Interesting that neither the article nor any commenter so far has pointed out that Alex Kosinski, Chief Judge of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (at least until recently), reportedly watches porn at his office computer, and has told anyone who complains about it to go pound sand.

    Of course, other federal judges do far worse. Such as Clarence Thomas and his financial reports.

  26. nick, I get it that men “get it”. I also get it that women don’t. We see a different kind of porn in state legislatures all over the country. Men in the superior power position with women doing their bidding.

    “Remove him from the Bench not for watching porn but for being dumb enough to do it on his work computer.” – Blouise

  27. Reminds me of the old story from Army boot camp when the drill instructor (DI) asks, “Ok, how many of you guys [abuse yourselves]?” A few sheepish hands go up and the DI says, Oh, I see.” He then orders the rest of the men to re-run the obstacle course.

    When one of the recruits questions the punitive move for the group that professes purity, the gruff ol’ non-com replies, “You know what we call a recruit who doesn’t [abuse himself] around here?”

    The recruit replies,”No, First Sergeant, I don’t.”

    “Well, son we call him a liar. Now get running.”

  28. Alan Burdick, Kosinski is a King..err Federal Judge. Unless they commit a felony, they’re untouchable. You know that.

  29. mespo, Great story. And I remind everyone of the great Seinfeld, “Master of my Domain” episode. Remember Elaine had to pony up more money, to which she agreed was fair, because she’s a woman. But she still lost because of John John. I love how this thread has evolved, “the truth shall make you free.”

  30. nick spinelli 1, December 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Dredd, It probably is, and I bet the oral arguments are a bit different..and there are NO objections.
    ============================
    Chevy Chase, Chubby Chase, Chubby Checker, and Supreme Court justice Dong Kong all starred in that porno flick about horse sense.

    Here is the theme song:

  31. Dredd, You’re a sick mofo…I love it! Chubby Checker had a love child named Misty Bass. She was conceived during a midwest concert and grew up in Janesville, Wi. w/o any help from Chubby. Misty led her basketball team to a couple state championships and went on to play for Duke. So, there is some benefit from fornication w/o a stable relationship, but that is the exception, not the rule. I think spanking your monkey watching porn is still the way to go. It is not a perfect world.

Comments are closed.