Judge Mark Fuller who sits on the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama, was arrested and accused of assaulting his wife after an altercation at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Atlanta, Ga. on Sunday.
Police told WSBTV2 that Fuller is charged with battery, and being held without bail at the Fulton County jail. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday morning. Police also confirmed that when they responded to a call about a disturbance at the hotel late Saturday evening, they observed injuries to Fuller’s wife, who received treatment at the scene by EMS personnel. She refused to be transported to the hospital.
Fuller, a George W. Bush appointee to the federal bench in 2002, is no stranger to controversy. He presided over the trial and conviction of former Democratic Governor of Alabama Don Siegelman on bribery and mail fraud charges, a trial fraught with irregularities.
Judge Fuller gets a taste of his own medicine.
Siegelman had been a very successful Democrat in a strongly Republican state, and the target of many within the Bush administration — who were determined to find a way to get him out of the way in Alabama and prevent him from moving up to the federal level in government.
Jill Simpson, a lawyer and Republican operative in Alabama, has alleged that Karl Rove contacted her in 2001 and asked her to find evidence that Siegelman was cheating on his wife.
She also told Scott Pelley, in a 2008 60 Minutes interview, that Rove had asked her to get photos of Siegelman in a sexually compromising position with one of his aides.
She told Pelley that even though she was a Republican operative, she did not feel comfortable with the methods used to convict Siegelman. These methods included coaching the prosecution’s star witness in his testimony, and having him write his story down several times to get it straight and eliminate discrepancies before he took the stand. That witness, former Siegelman aide Nick Bailey, was himself facing criminal charges at the time and testified in exchange for a lighter sentence.
The prosecutor was the wife of another GOP operative in Alabama who ran Bob Riley ‘s campaign. Riley defeated Siegelman in his bid for reelection in 2002, and would have faced him again in 2006 had he not been convicted on flimsy evidence of accepting a bribe — even though not one penny of the alleged bribe ever found its way into Siegelman’s pocket.
There were also allegations of jurors improperly communicating with outside influences via email, which Fuller dismissed claiming that the misconduct on the part of the jury did not violate Siegelman’s right to a fair trial.
After the jury in Siegelman’s trial told Fuller — for the second time — that they were deadlocked, he told them that they may have a job for life as jurors, much like his lifetime appointment as a judge. This was an obvious intimidation tactic, and it worked: The next day the jury delivered a guilty verdict.
Fuller’s next move was even more blatantly political: He ordered Siegelman to be taken immediately into custody and shackled. This practice is only rarely applied to those convicted of white collar crimes. Normally they are given 45 days to arrange their affairs before reporting voluntarily to prison.