Wife-Beating

Wife-Beating Siegelman Judge Resigns, Ending Disgraceful Career With Civic Lesson

A notorious federal judge has resigned under the threat of impeachment — and thus provided a harsh but useful lesson for civic activists everywhere.

A federal court order June 1 showed that fellow judges were prepared to recommend that Alabama-based U.S. District Judge Mark E. Fuller be impeached if he failed to resign his lifetime appointment.

Fuller, a federal judge since 2002, announced through his attorneys his resignation effective Aug. 1 after his highly publicized arrest the previous August in Atlanta on a misdemeanor charge of battery against his then-wife, Kelli Gregg Fuller.

Fuller, chief judge from 2004 to 2011 for Alabama’s federal district based in the state capital of Montgomery, also became infamous in legal reform circles for presiding over the 2006 corruption trial and sentencing of Democratic former Gov. Don Siegelman in a case marked by gross legal irregularities but continued imprisonment.

Our Justice Integrity Project began researching the Siegelman case in 2007 with an open mind but had concluded by the time of our first major columns in 2009 that Fuller was a ring-leader of a political frame-up, as indicated by our first column, Siegelman Deserves New Trial Because of Judge’s ‘Grudge’, Evidence Shows….$300 Million in Bush Military Contracts Awarded to Judge’s Private Company, published May 15, 2009 on the front page of the Huffington Post.    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-kreig/siegelman-deserves-new-tr_b_201455.html.

Our subsequent columns showed that Fuller’s misconduct ratified by his judicial peers and the Justice Department under both Republican and Democratic administrations showed a dangerous pattern that went far beyond the Siegelman case. Like other federal judges, Fuller has huge freedom to impose his views on major civil and criminal cases.

A close study here and elsewhere of Fuller’s record has shown that his legally dubious decision-making has:

Benefited his political allies and cronies;
Targeted largely defenseless litigants and their organizations;
Has created huge harms for the public; and
Received until now minimal correction from timid oversight systems in the courts, Executive Branch and Congress.

Out of his gross misconduct, however, comes a valuable lesson for civic activities frustrated by other such derelictions nationally, especially in such normally prestigious positions as the judiciary and prosecution offices.

The lesson is to shame peers and the enabling institutions, not just the miscreant after the facts are established.
Those who have achieved high-prestige posts naturally protect their colleagues at first as human nature but ultimately do not want to be smeared with the muck if complaints are both legitimate and persistent.

That is the approach we adopted here, most recently in a hard-hitting column last week that targeted the entire Atlanta-based U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has been supervising both Siegelman appeals and a disciplinary investigation of Fuller following his arrest last August.

Similarly, our previous columns have targeted the Obama administration, its predecessor Bush Justice Department, and Congress because of their failures to investigate Fuller and his courtroom. Our revelations have been published most frequently here but began with revelations featured repeatedly on the front pages of the Huffington Post and Op-Ed News, as well as speeches and radio interviews.

That work built on previous and concurrent work by courageous whistleblowers, other investigative journalists and commentators, and nationwide court reform movement, particularly by those in Alabama and elsewhere who see the Siegelman frame-up as one of the nation’s greatest ongoing human rights scandals.

 

AL.com, Federal judge Mark Fuller resigns, Edward T. Bowser and Kyle Whitmire, May 29, 2015. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller, right, appears in Fulton County Court Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 to face charges of misdemeanor battery, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Brant Sanderlin) United States District Court Judge Mark Fuller has given his resignation to the president and will step down from the bench Aug. 1.

Fuller's lawyer, Barry Ragsdale, confirmed that the judge sent a letter to the president this week. Beyond that, Ragsdale said he could not comment and that the disciplinary procedures of the 11th Circuit are confidential. Last August, Fuller was arrested in an Atlanta hotel room after a domestic dispute with his then-wife, Kelli Fuller. He was charged with misdemeanor battery, but he later entered into an agreement with the court there to have his record expunged upon receiving counseling and completing a domestic violence program. Since his arrest, Fuller's caseload in federal court had been reassigned and he has been on paid leave. He will not be hearing cases between now and August, his lawyer said. Multiple public officials, including both Alabama Senators and the state's congressional delegation, have called on Fuller to resign, and Rep. Terri Sewell has encouraged Congress to pursue his impeachment.  Friday night, Sewell, D-Birmingham, said news of Fuller's resignation was a "welcome outcome to a very painful breach of the public trust. "Fuller failed to uphold our most fundamental values. Perhaps the only consolation is that he has chosen to spare his family and our nation of the expense of a drawn out impeachment process," she said. A federal judge since 2002, Fuller presided over the public corruption trial of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.

 
 
 
 
 
Contact the author Andrew Kreig
 
 

 

Editor's Recommendations

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), In 2006, WMR reported on Hastert's blackmailable "misconduct," Wayne Madsen, May 29, 2015. Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was indicted in Chicago on May 28 for lying to FBI agents about his cash withdrawals from his various bank accounts. Hastert withdrew the money, allegedly beginning in 2010, to pay an individual described only as "Individual A" in the federal indictment as blackmail over "prior misconduct" on the part of Hastert. The Chicago Tribune only referred to the blackmail as "Dennis Hastert's dark secret," but northern Illinois was abuzz with credible rumors that dark secret had something to do with Hastert's earlier years as a wrestling coach for boys at Yorkville High School outside of Chicago. The indictment indicates that Individual A had something to do with Hastert's coaching years because it begins, "from approximately 1965 to 1981, defendant JOHN DENNIS HASTERT was a high school teacher and coach in Yorkville, Illinois." The indictment also states that from 2010 Hastert paid Individual A, who is said to be from Yorkville, a total of $3.5 million to "compensate for and conceal (Hastert's) prior misconduct" with the unnamed person from Hastert's past. There is no mention of his having been blackmailed as a result of his activities as Speaker. Since leaving Congress in 2007, Hastert has been a lobbyist for the Washington law firm of Dickstein Shapiro.

Selected Justice Integrity Project Coverage Of Judge Mark Fuller and Former Gov. Don Siegelman (Reverse Chronological Order)

2015

Justice Integrity Project, Court Ruling Against Siegelman Compels New Strategies, Andrew Kreig, May 24, 2015. A federal appeals court last week rejected former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman’s latest appeal, thus inflicting a devastating defeat upon those who seek a rule of law in the United States. The misguided but unanimous ruling by three Atlanta-based judges requires new and more aggressive political priorities by justice seekers nationwide who have long been appalled by one of America’s worst human rights abuses. We need to recognize more publicly that the vaunted U.S. system can inflict injustice repeatedly with utter ruthlessness and impunity in selective political prosecutions and cover-ups. The naïve believe that such judicial and prosecutorial misconduct occurs only overseas or in isolated and corrupt U.S. localities. Instead, certain prosecutions authorized at top federal levels are designed to ruin political enemies like Siegelman — his state’s most prominent Democrat during his 1999 to 2003 term and in the years shortly thereafter — and/or to protect the reputations of important institutions, as in the cover-up that has thwarted him and many other victims around the nation. The Obama Justice Department further illustrated its craven deference to the powerful by last week’s settlement announced by Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch of a criminal case against five major banks that bilked their customers of an estimated $5 billion by manipulating trades.

Justice Integrity Project, Siegelman Hearing Scheduled Jan. 13 As 'Solitary' Continues, Andrew Kreig, Jan. 12, 2015. A federal appeals court in Atlanta hears on Jan. 13 the latest appeal of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, one of the nation’s leading political prisoners.

2014

Justice Integrity Project, Shackled Siegelman Typifies White House ‘Human Rights’ Charade, Andrew Kreig, Dec. 29, 2014. Federal authorities continued this month their remarkably harsh, unjust treatment of the nation’s most famous political prisoner. The U.S. legal jihad against former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman continued even as the Obama administration separately cited “human rights” as the rationale for new U.S. sanctions and other interventions overseas.

Justice Integrity Project, Courts Strip Disgraced Judge Of Cases, Forbid Contact With Wife, Andrew Kreig, Aug. 17, 2014. A federal appeals court in Atlanta took the rare step last week of reassigning all cases from a prominent judge who had been arrested on a battery charge against his wife. Separately, a Fulton County court forbade U.S. District Judge Mark E. Fuller, 55, from contact with his wife Kelli Gregg Fuller, 41, a former deputy court clerk for Fuller who phoned police late Aug. 9 from a luxury hotel to say her husband was beating her after she accused him of having an affair with a law clerk.

Justice Integrity Project, Siegelman's Judge Charged With Wife-Beating, Affair With Clerk, Aug. 11, 2014. Atlanta police this weekend alleged wife-beating by the Alabama judge who helped railroad into prison former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.  Police charged U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller with battery early Aug. 10 following an altercation late Saturday night at the luxury Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Police did not identify the victim aside from saying it was Fuller's wife. Police reported that she was injured but declined hospital treatment.

Eric Holder

Justice Integrity Project, Siegelman Sentence Cements Judicial Scandal In History, Andrew Kreig, Aug. 6, 2012. The country’s most notorious federal judge Aug. 3 sentenced former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman to 78 months more in prison on trumped-up corruption convictions. The proceedings cement into history a national disgrace for the justice system. The infamy is parallel on the world stage to France's sentence of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus to Devil's Island on phony charges more than a century ago. U.S. District Judge Mark E. Fuller of Montgomery, a longtime Republican partisan, also imposed a $50,000 fine payable immediately by a man who has already spent vast amounts on legal bills to defend himself from a prosecution that cost United States taxpayers an estimated $100 million.

Justice Integrity Project, Supreme Court Denies Siegelman, Scrushy Appeals, Andrew Kreig, June 4, 2012. True to recent form, the U.S. Supreme Court denied relief June 4 to former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on corruption charges. This sets the stage for Siegelman's reimprisonment in the most notorious federal political prosecution and frame-up of the decade. The court denied without comment the certiorari petition of Siegelman and co-defendant Richard Scrushy, former CEO of HealthSouth, Inc.

2011

Justice Integrity Project, Inside Story on DoD's $35 Billion Boeing Air Force Tanker Deal, Andrew Kreig, Feb. 25, 2011. The Department of Defense Thursday announced its choice of Boeing for a $35 billion contract to build the Air Force’s next generation of mid-air refueling tankers. Boeing’s selection, subject to any challenge by the losing bidder EADS, could end a decade-long, scandal-ridden process that became one of the controversial and important in modern U.S. procurement history. The Justice Integrity Project has tracked the proceeding closely for a year and a half after learning from reliable sources details about industrial espionage and skullduggery in the contract battle. This went far beyond even the scandals showcased in Senate oversight hearings led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Those scandals sent a Boeing executive and former Air Force procurement officer to prison on bribery charges and led to DoD revocation in 2005 of the initial award to Boeing.

2009

Huffington Post, Siegelman Deserves New Trial Because of Judge’s ‘Grudge’, Evidence Shows….$300 Million in Bush Military Contracts Awarded to Judge’s Private Company, Andrew Kreig, May 15, 2009. The Alabama federal judge who presided over the 2006 corruption trial of the state's former governor holds a grudge against the defendant for helping to expose the judge's own alleged corruption six years ago. Former Gov. Don Siegelman therefore deserves a new trial with an unbiased judge ─ not one whose privately owned company, Doss Aviation, has been enriched by the Bush administration's award of $300 million in contracts since 2006, making the judge millions in non-judicial income.

 

Related News Coverage

2015

Legal Schnauzer, Order released today by Eleventh Circuit shows that Fuller was staring down the barrel at impeachment, Roger Shuler, June 1, 2015. A judicial panel today issued an order saying the conduct of Alabama federal judge Mark Fuller might "constitute one or more grounds for impeachment." That means Fuller was facing serious consequences when he announced his resignation last Friday, in the wake of his arrest last summer on domestic-abuse charges. U.S. Circuit Judge Gerald Tjoflat acted as chief judge in the Fuller matter. Ironically, Tjoflat also served on a three-judge panel that denied initial appeals in the Don Siegelman case. Fuller is best known for overseeing the Siegelman trial, which has come to be seen by many legal experts as perhaps the most notorious political prosecution in U.S. history. From an article by Alyson Palmer at the Atlanta-based Daily Report: When U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Alabama tendered his resignation on Friday, his fellow judges apparently were preparing to send his case to a national judicial body for consideration of possible impeachment by Congress.

On Monday the Judicial Council of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued an order saying the conduct of Fuller, who was arrested on domestic abuse allegations in Atlanta last summer, "might constitute one or more grounds for impeachment." The order referred the matter to the Judicial Conference of the United States, which has the ability to send a judicial discipline matter to the House of Representatives for impeachment.

Al.com, Panel found possible grounds for impeaching judge Mark Fuller, Kyle Whitmire, June 1, 2015. A panel of federal judges found possible grounds for impeachment of District Judge Mark Fuller. Fuller, who was arrested last year in an Atlanta hotel room on charges of domestic abuse, resigned his appointment to the federal bench on Friday. In a two-sentence letter to the president, Fuller said that his last day would be August 1. Fuller will not handle casework before then, his lawyer said. However, it now appears that Fuller's resignation was meant to stop a process of impeachment before it began. http://www.scribd.com/doc/267339505/Judicial-Council-Order-Mark-Fuller

New York Times, Federal Judge to Quit Post; He Faced Abuse Charge, Jada F. Smith, May 29, 2015. Mark E. Fuller Credit Brant Sanderlin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Associated Press A federal judge who was arrested last summer in Atlanta on accusations of domestic abuse resigned on Friday. The judge, Mark E. Fuller of the Middle District of Alabama, was arrested and charged with battery in August when Kelli Fuller, then his wife, called the police from a Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, saying he had assaulted her during an argument about her suspicions that he was having an extramarital relationship with a law clerk.

AL.com, Federal judge Mark Fuller resigns, Edward T. Bowser and Kyle Whitmire, May 29, 2015. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller, right, appears in Fulton County Court Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 to face charges of misdemeanor battery, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Brant Sanderlin) United States District Court Judge Mark Fuller has given his resignation to the president and will step down from the bench Aug. 1.

Fuller's lawyer, Barry Ragsdale, confirmed that the judge sent a letter to the president this week. Beyond that, Ragsdale said he could not comment and that the disciplinary procedures of the 11th Circuit are confidential. Last August, Fuller was arrested in an Atlanta hotel room after a domestic dispute with his then-wife, Kelli Fuller. He was charged with misdemeanor battery, but he later entered into an agreement with the court there to have his record expunged upon receiving counseling and completing a domestic violence program. Since his arrest, Fuller's caseload in federal court had been reassigned and he has been on paid leave. He will not be hearing cases between now and August, his lawyer said. Multiple public officials, including both Alabama Senators and the state's congressional delegation, have called on Fuller to resign, and Rep. Terri Sewell has encouraged Congress to pursue his impeachment.  Friday night, Sewell, D-Birmingham, said news of Fuller's resignation was a "welcome outcome to a very painful breach of the public trust. "Fuller failed to uphold our most fundamental values. Perhaps the only consolation is that he has chosen to spare his family and our nation of the expense of a drawn out impeachment process," she said. A federal judge since 2002, Fuller presided over the public corruption trial of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.

2014

Mark Fuller Mug ShotAssociated Press via ABC News, 11th Circuit Files Complaint Against Alabama Federal Judge Mark Fuller, Staff report, Aug. 20, 2014. U.S. Circuit Judge Gerald Tjoflat, acting as the chief judge of the 11th Circuit, sent U.S District Judge Mark Fuller a complaint following his arrest to begin the judicial discipline process outlined under federal law, Fuller's attorney, Barry Ragsdale said. While federal judges serve lifetime appointments and can be removed only through impeachment, legal experts say they also are subject to administrative procedures that can result in censure, reprimands or a request for their resignation. Fuller has three weeks to respond to the complaint by Tjoflat. The 11th Circuit already has stripped Fuller of his cases and stopped sending him new ones. Atlanta police arrested the 55-year-old judge on Aug. 10 and charged him with misdemeanor battery after his wife called 911 from a hotel and said he was beating her.

Above the Law, Clerkships, Crime, Federal Judges, Sex, Sex Scandals, Violence, Staci Zaretsky, Aug. 15, 2014. Federal Judge Accused Of Beating His Wife Allegedly Has Sleazy History With Women. Earlier this week, we brought our readers the sordid tale of Judge Mark Fuller, a federal jurist facing allegations of domestic violence brought by his wife, Kelli Fuller. The good judge is also accused of having an affair with one of his law clerks. Today, we’ve got some additional details about Judge Fuller’s history as an alleged lawyerly Lothario, as well as some updates in the case against him, including the transcript of the 911 call made by his wife during the course of the alleged assault. Judge Fuller’s marriage to his ex-wife, Lisa Boyd Fuller, was allegedly rife with troubles, ranging from adultery to abuse to addiction. His alleged affair with his then-deputy may have contributed to his divorce from his former wife; check out the Request for Admissions that was filed during the course of the divorce, posted on the next page. (Judge Fuller requested that the records be sealed shortly after the shocking document was made public.) As to the night of Judge Fuller’s most recent alleged domestic violence incident, the Associated Press was able to obtain audio from the 911 call made by his wife. Here’s a partial transcript from the call. About a minute into the call, as the initial dispatcher patches an ambulance dispatcher into the call, the woman identified as Kelli Fuller, 41, can be heard saying ‘I hate you, I hate you.” A male voice responds: “I hate you too” followed by dull noises in the background. This is absolutely disgusting behavior for a federal judge, if the allegations turn out to be true.

WSFA-TV, Federal Judge Mark Fuller's caseload reassigned in wake of arrest, Posted: Aug 10, 2014, updated Aug 13, 2014. All cases that were pending before Federal Judge Mark Fuller, who presides over legal matters in Alabama's Middle District, are being reassigned to other judges, effective immediately. The order to remove the judge's caseload was given by the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta and comes in the wake of the judge's own legal troubles in which he was arrested over the weekend and charged with assaulting his wife. The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals said Fuller's misdemeanor charges are a matter of public record and the case is pending in State Court in Georgia. The Court went on to say that no new legal matters will be assigned to the judge until further notice. Atlanta police arrested Fuller, 55, on Saturday, August 8 after responding to a call around 10:45 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton hotel on Peachtree Street. According to a police report on the incident, Fuller's wife says he hit her in the mouth several times with his hands, pulled her to the ground and kicked her, and dragged her around the room. In 911 tapes that were made public, you can hear what seems to be the altercation in the background. Fuller's wife had visible injuries, according to police department spokesperson Kim Jones. The victim was treated on the scene by medics but refused to be transported to a hospital. The police report shows that Fuller's wife claims her husband was having an affair with a colleague. She then said that Fuller hit her repeatedly, pulled her hair and threw her to the ground and kicked her.

Associated Press via Al.com, 'He's beating on me,' wife of judge who presided over Siegelman, Scrushy trials says in 911 call, Staff report, Aug. 13, 2014. The wife of a federal judge arrested earlier this week on suspicion of hitting her told emergency dispatchers that she was being beaten and needed an ambulance. U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, meanwhile, has been stripped of his case load in the Middle District of Alabama as he stands charged with misdemeanor domestic battery in a Georgia court. In a recording of a 911 call obtained by The Associated Press, the woman who dialed authorities identified herself as Kelli Fuller and reported that she was involved in a domestic dispute at the Ritz Carlton in downtown Atlanta. "He's beating on me. Please help me," the woman tells the 911 dispatcher before saying that she needed paramedics. The recording was released to AP on Wednesday in response to an open records request.

Associated Press via Fort-Worth Star-Telegram, Federal judge accused of hitting wife in argument, Bill Barrow, Aug. 11, 2014. A federal judge known for sentencing a former Alabama governor to prison in a corruption case was released from an Atlanta jail Monday after he was accused of hitting his wife when she accused him of infidelity. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller, 55, posted a $5,000 bond after a hearing in Fulton County Magistrate Court.  Atlanta police arrested Fuller early Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Atlanta after responding to a complaint from his wife, Kelli Fuller. Mark Fuller indicated in court Monday that he will hire a private attorney. Misdemeanor offenses in Georgia generally are punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Fuller did not return a telephone message left in his chambers. Kelli and Mark Fuller married after the judge and his previous wife, Lisa Boyd Fuller, divorced in 2012. The divorce file, held in Montgomery County, was sealed at Mark Fuller's request. Through the attorney who represented her in the divorce, Lisa Boyd Fuller declined comment Monday.

OpEd News, Will President Obama Maintain Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence in the Case of Federal Judge Mark Fuller? Dana Jill Simpson, Aug. 13 2014. This October President Obama and Vice President Biden will be faced with a challenge to the seriousness of their commitment to zero tolerance for domestic violence. They are now confronted by a sitting federal judge in Alabama named Mark Fuller who has been arrested for battery against his wife in the "ritzy" Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Atlanta Georgia. Fuller has been quoted in the press on the day of his release stating that he "just pushed" his wife (Kelli Gregg Fuller) to the ground and was defending himself from an attack by her, triggered by her concerns over his possible infidelity.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Federal judge arrested in Atlanta; accused of assaulting wife, Chris Joyner, Aug. 10, 2014. Atlanta police arrested a federal judge Saturday evening on charges that he assaulted his wife. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller was charged with misdemeanor battery and taken to the Fulton County jail around 2:30 Sunday morning. Fuller, 55, is a judge in the Middle District of Alabama and presided over the 2006 bribery trial of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy. According to a jail official, the judge has a 9 a.m. Monday court appearance and was expected to remain in jail overnight. Police responded to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at 181 Peachtree Street at 10:47 p.m. According to Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones, officers spoke to Fuller’s wife, “who stated she was assaulted by her husband.” Fuller’s wife, who was not named by police, was treated by paramedics but refused treatment at a hospital.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Domestic violence arrest unlikely to remove federal judge from bench, Rhonda Cook, Aug. 12, 2014. Federal Judge Mark Fuller is unlikely to face any professional repercussion s because of his misdemeanor battery charge brought over the weekend after he was accused of a physical altercation with his wife at a downtown Atlanta hotel. With a lifetime appointment to the federal court, the only way to remove a judge from the bench is via the long and complicated impeachment process and then a trial in the U.S. Senate, according to experts. Federal judges accused of felonies have not been immediately removed though some have resigned. Fuller is charged with a misdemeanor.

Montgomery Advertiser, Federal judge Mark Fuller released from Atlanta jail, Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser, Aug. 11, 2014. U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller on Monday was released from an Atlanta jail after posting a $5,000 bond. The police report on the incident, first obtained by Decaturish, an Atlanta news site, said Fuller's wife showed evidence of lacerations to her mouth and forehead when the responding officer came. According to the report, the woman, who is not identified by name, confronted Fuller over issues in their marriage, including a belief that Fuller was having an affair with a law clerk. "(The victim) stated when she confronted him about their issues, he pulled her to the ground and kicked her," the report states. "(The victim) also stated she was dragged around the room and Fuller hit her in the mouth several times with his hands." Under federal law, a complaint about a judge's conduct would be referred to the Chief Judge of the Court of the Appeals for the circuit. The official reviews the complaint and can choose to dismiss it or form a committee consisting of the Chief Judge and circuit and district judges in the circuit. The committee can do everything from dismiss the complaint to publicly censure the judge in question and request voluntary retirement. The American Judicature Society, which monitors judicial ethics, said complaints generally focus around a judge's physical or mental ability to carry out the duties of the bench, or for "conduct prejudicial to the effective and expeditious administration of the business of the courts." "The broad question is that some one could file a complaint related to this, and the circuit could investigate it," said John Carroll, a former federal judge and dean of the Cumberland School of Law at Sanford University. "It depends on the facts and circumstances." The commission may also refer a judge's case to the House of Representatives for possible impeachment, the only way a federal judge may be involuntarily removed. Since 1789, 15 federal judges have been impeached. Samuel Kent, a federal judge from Texas, was impeached in 2009 after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice for lying to a committee that was investigating accusations of sexual harassment brought against Kent by a female employee. Kent resigned before a trial in the Senate could take place. In 2010, Thomas Porteous, a federal judge in Louisiana, was impeached and removed from office for making false financial disclosures.

Associated Press via WSBT-V (ABC News Birmingham), Federal judge who presided over Siegelman, Scrushy trial in jail, Aug. 10, 2014. Federal Judge Mark Fuller was arrested at an Atlanta hotel Saturday night and taken to the Fulton County jail. He's accused of assaulting his wife. Atlanta police say Fuller's wife called from the Ritz Carlton on Peachtree Street around 10:47 p.m.. She told police she was assaulted by her husband. Officers reported injuries to her. She was treated on scene and refused to go to the hospital. Police say Fuller was not injured.

Legal Schnauzer, Alabama Federal Judge Who Was Charged With Assaulting Wife Has Faced Charges Of Domestic Abuse In The Past, Roger Shuler, Aug. 11, 2014. Quite a few Americans probably were shocked to learn that a federal judge from Alabama was arrested over the weekend on charges of assaulting his wife in an Atlanta hotel room. But to those who have closely followed the career of U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller (Middle District of Alabama), the charges are not a surprise. During a 2012 divorce from his first wife, Fuller faced allegations of domestic abuse, extramarital affairs, driving under the influence, abuse of prescription medications, and more. Why is that not well known among the public? Here is the likely reason: Lisa Boyd Fuller filed for divorce on May 10, 2012, and her complaint and interrogatories quickly found their way into the Alabama press. The complaint was fairly mild, but the interrogatories raised all sorts of unsavory issues about the judge. Mark Fuller's lawyer then requested that the file be sealed, and an Alabama state judge granted the request, even though divorce records generally are considered public records.

2012

Dick ShelbyOpEdNews, Alabama Judicial Scandal Could Taint Many Cases, Not Just Siegelman's, May 17, 2012. An Alabama newspaper exposed a scandal May 16 that deserves national prominence that will not occur without you as participants in the alternative and social media. The headline was "Federal judge's lengthy affair with court worker is exposed." This is a scandal not simply for the judge, Mark Everett Fuller. It is a lifetime shame for those in the Justice Department, federal court system and the United States Senate who have coddled and protected him for an entire decade during his obvious previous disgraces. A decade ago, Alabama's pension officials accused Fuller of trying to bilk the system out of $330,000 by his advocacy of unmerited pension benefits for a former staffer. Yet Alabama's two Republican senators, Richard Shelby (shown at right) and Jeff Sessions, pushed Fuller forward for a lifetime appointment, which Fuller received from voice vote by the United States Senate with no serious discussion of his past. Fuller and his court staff were able to hide from public view a 180-page impeachment filing against him in 2003 with no apparent attempt at investigation. In 2006, he presided over one of the nation's most sinister political prosecutions in modern times. The defense did not know that the judge was also being enriched via a military contracting company, Doss Aviation, receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in no-bid Bush contracts.

Legal Schnauzer, Sex, Drugs, and Violence Are At The Heart Of Divorce Case Against Siegelman Judge Mark Fuller, Roger Shuler, May 18, 2012. A request for admissions can be one of the most entertaining documents in a lawsuit.  Lisa Boyd Fuller is suing the judge for divorce. If even half of the items in her request for admissions are true, it's a wonder Judge Fuller could even pay attention during the Siegelman case--much less rule correctly on key matters of law, with the freedom of two men at stake. Lisa Fuller's request is filled with sex, drugs, and violence--but no rock and roll (so far). The 18 items hint at a judge with a clouded mind, a nasty temperament, a lust for women other than his wife, and a monumental sense of entitlement.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Montgomery circuit court seals file in U.S. district judge's divorce proceedings, Amanda Simmons, May 29, 2012. Three journalists requested access to the sealed file of an Alabama-based federal judge's divorce proceedings wrought with accusations of domestic violence, drug abuse and the judge's alleged affair with his court bailiff. The journalists and other legal watchers have expressed concern that the court quietly sealed the records without taking the standard procedural steps. Citing security reasons, U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Montgomery, Ala., moved to seal the file of his divorce proceedings on April 20 despite his wife's objections. Without providing an explanation, a judge in the domestic relations division of Montgomery County Circuit Court granted the request on May 15. Last week, Andrew Kreig, director of the Justice Integrity Project in Washington, D.C.; Bob Martin, editor and publisher of The Montgomery Independent and The Millbrook Independent in Alabama; and Roger Shuler, online content provider of the Alabama-based website Legal Schnauzer, submitted their request for public access.

 

Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), In 2006, WMR reported on Hastert's blackmailable "misconduct," Wayne Madsen, May 29, 2015. Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was indicted in Chicago on May 28 for lying to FBI agents about his cash withdrawals from his various bank accounts. Hastert withdrew the money, allegedly beginning in 2010, to pay an individual described only as "Individual A" in the federal indictment as blackmail over "prior misconduct" on the part of Hastert. The Chicago Tribune only referred to the blackmail as "Dennis Hastert's dark secret," but northern Illinois was abuzz with credible rumors that dark secret had something to do with Hastert's earlier years as a wrestling coach for boys at Yorkville High School outside of Chicago. The indictment indicates that Individual A had something to do with Hastert's coaching years because it begins, "from approximately 1965 to 1981, defendant JOHN DENNIS HASTERT was a high school teacher and coach in Yorkville, Illinois." The indictment also states that from 2010 Hastert paid Individual A, who is said to be from Yorkville, a total of $3.5 million to "compensate for and conceal (Hastert's) prior misconduct" with the unnamed person from Hastert's past. There is no mention of his having been blackmailed as a result of his activities as Speaker. Since leaving Congress in 2007, Hastert has been a lobbyist for the Washington law firm of Dickstein Shapiro.

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), ISIL as a Western-Gulf states-Turkish construct gaining attention, June 1, 2015. http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/articles/20150601_1 The U.S./Blackwater-trained former commander of the Tajikistan special forces is now a top Islamic State field commander. This revelation follows close on the heels of the declassification of an August 5, 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report that describes early U.S., NATO, Israeli, Saudi, and Turkish support for the Salafists, Al Qaeda in Iraq (which became the Islamic State), and the Muslim Brotherhood as the only alternative to the Bashar Al Assad government in Syria. The U.S. and Western/Gulf Arab support for the Islamic State was the subject of a panel at the Left Forum at the John Jay School of Criminal Justice in New York on May 31.