Former prosecutor pursuing age discrimination suit, confesses to mishandling tickets for friend

By Record News | Aug 29, 2017

EAST ST. LOUIS – Former Madison County prosecutor Julia Matoesian, wife of Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian, rigged tickets for clients of their friend, Alton attorney Steve Selby, according to a confession she submitted in U.S. district court on Aug. 26. 

Her statement apparently ends an age discrimination suit she filed against State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons and the county in 2015. 

Alton lawyer Lee Barron submitted the statement in response to a summary judgment motion that Gibbons and the county filed in June. 

In the statement, Barron wrote that Matoesian was 75 when defendants terminated her. 

He wrote that they replaced her with a substantially younger employee, and that they first informed her husband. 

He wrote that these facts and other matters gave her a good faith basis to believe age was a factor in her termination. 

He wrote that given a Supreme Court standard as the Seventh Circuit applies it, “plaintiff confesses the defendants’ motion for summary judgment.” 

In that motion, county counsel Narcisa Symank wrote that an anonymous tip led Gibbons to review cases of driving under the influence. 

She wrote that Gibbons came to believe Matoesian grossly mishandled cases. 

Symank provided details in a separate statement of uncontroverted material facts. 

In 2010, Symank wrote that Matoesian was assigned to the case of a repeat offender who drove his vehicle through a bar with patrons inside. 

“Despite the egregious circumstances and substantial evidence supporting suspension of the defendant’s driver’s license, plaintiff rescinded the statutory summary suspension of the individual’s driver’s license without justifiable cause,” she wrote. 

Symank wrote that state’s attorney William Mudge, now circuit judge, instructed Matoesian never to rescind another suspension without a supervisor’s approval. 

She wrote that Gibbons served a portion of Mudge’s term and was elected in 2012. 

In November 2012, she wrote that an assistant state’s attorney received an anonymous note expressing concern about disposition of 11 cases. 

She wrote that Gibbons and Katie Wycoff, chief of the misdemeanor and traffic division, reviewed the cases. 

In seven cases, Matoesian rescinded suspensions, she wrote. In five of those seven, Selby was defense attorney. 

“Mr. Selby is a close personal friend of plaintiff and her husband, the Honorable Andreas Matoesian, who serves as a circuit judge in the Madison County circuit court,” Symank wrote. 

Symank wrote that Gibbons realized she rescinded suspensions improperly. 

She wrote that he decided not to reappoint Matoesian for a swearing in ceremony on Dec. 3, 2012. 

She wrote that Gibbons tried to meet her on Nov. 30, but couldn’t locate her. 

“That same day, Mr. Gibbons was visiting with the Honorable Andreas Matoesian, as happened often, on at least a weekly basis,” she wrote. 

“Mr. Gibbons had, for over a decade, considered Judge Matoesian a close personal friend and mentor.” 

She wrote that the judge said, “I’m assuming Julie is safe.” 

“In response, Mr. Gibbons, caught off guard and unsure of what to say, said, ‘That is something we are going to have to talk about,’” she wrote. 

“In response, Judge Matoesian became extremely angry and told Mr. Gibbons to get out of his office. 

“The personal friendship of Judge Matoesian and Mr. Gibbons ended that day.” 

Symank wrote that on Dec. 3, 2012, Gibbons met Julia Matoesian and told her he had grave concern about her exercise of sound judgment. 

She wrote that he told her he couldn’t reappoint her until a full review of her caseload had been completed. 

A full review revealed that Matoesian handled 90 cases of driving under the influence from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, 2012, Symank wrote. Matoesian rescinded suspensions in 26 cases, a rate significantly higher than the office’s general rate, she wrote. 

She wrote that Selby represented defendants in 19 of 26 rescissions. 

“Given the result of the full investigation, Mr. Gibbons decided not to reappoint plaintiff to serve as an assistant state’s attorney,” she wrote. 

Magistrate Judge Donald Wilkerson received Symank’s motion on June 19, and set a July 24 deadline for a response. 

Barron missed the deadline, and moved the next day for an extension. 

On Aug. 7, Wilkerson extended the deadline to Aug. 18. 

On Aug. 17, Barron moved to extend it again. 

On Aug. 18, a Friday, Wilkerson extended it a week. 

Barron missed the Friday deadline, and filed the confession on Saturday, Aug. 26.

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