A case management conference is set in a defamation suit against the owner of the Alton Telegraph and one of its reporters on May 26.

The plaintiff seeks $1 million in punitive damages in the case.

However, actions in the case have been stayed due to defendant Freedom Communications' bankruptcy since January.

Plaintiff Charles Bonnell is suing Freedom Communications and reporter Linda Weller for at least $100,000 in damages for allegedly defaming him in an August 2008 newspaper article.

Bonnell claims that Weller used euphemisms for arson in connection to a fire at an Alton property.

Bonnell claims that Weller falsely stated he owned the property and that she attempted to convey to the public that he was guilty of arson.

He alleges that after contacting the Telegraph, the paper refused to print a correction.

He also is seeking the punitive damages.

The case management conference is set for 9:30 a.m.

Bonnell is represented by Bernard Ysursa.

Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla presides.

The case is Madison case number 09-L-751.

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