Christina Stueve Hodges Jan. 31, 2013, 7:17am

An East Alton man has withdrawn his discrimination lawsuit against Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, due to his inability to obtain counsel.

George W. Johnson sued in Madison County last March, claiming his superiors at SIUE failed to properly handle an incident in which two garbage bags were hung on his door to resemble an African-American hung on a noose.

Johnson’s attorney Keith Short filed a motion to withdraw from representing Johnson on Sept. 25, stating “due to changes in the firm and the press of other business, it is difficult for this office to continue as counsel for the complainant.”

Circuit Judge William Mudge on Nov. 14 granted Short's request to withdraw.

Mudge then dismissed the lawsuit Jan. 24, but allowed the plaintiff one year to re-file the case if he chooses.

Johnson wrote in a letter to Mudge that he was unable to obtain counsel after “initial counsel withdrew due to office overload. I find such actions which have been condoned by the university have no place in any institution claiming to be of Higher Education, possibly educating a leader of tomorrow.”

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-273.

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