The news broke on the same day that the Alabama Supreme Court ruled against State Rep. Barry Moore in his effort to have perjury charges dismissed. That seems to mean that a grand-jury investigation in Lee County, with House Speaker Mike Hubbard and former Governor Bob Riley possibly at the center, will stay on a steady track.
Could a new day be dawning for justice in Alabama? We will not be holding our breath here at Legal Schnauzer. Without serious attention from the Obama Department of Justice, we see little chance that Alabama corruption will be unearthed in a major way. (On a possibly hopeful note, the Obama DOJ landed convictions yesterday in a corruption probe involving former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife. Our guess is that any sleaze in Virginia is mild compared to what we've seen in Alabama over the past 15 years or so.)
For now, Judge Mark Fuller is front and center, thanks in large part to the Facebook reporting of prominent Alabama attorney Donald Watkins. The Fuller story hits close to home at this blog because I was cheated out of my job as an editor at UAB because of my accurate reporting in 2007-08 about Fuller's corrupt handling of the Don Siegelman/Richard Scrushy case. Now, we all know that Fuller is ethically challeged, that he's had drug, alcohol, and domestic-abuse issues so severe that even his judicial colleagues have called on him to resign, according to Donald Watkins.
In other words, my reporting on Fuller was both accurate and ahead of its time. And evidence at my UAB grievance hearing showed I produced those reports on my own time, away from work. I did not violate university policy in any way, and as a state employee I was protected by the First Amendment to discuss matters of public concern, but powerful legal/political forces backstabbed me because they could not have my posts showing the public that the Siegelman and Scrushy convictions were illegitimate. Sadly, UAB's "leaders" at the time were so weak and ethically challenged, they allowed an unlawful termination to take place.
As for Donald Watkins, he was in Atlanta for today's Fuller hearing and reports as follows:
Criminal defendant Mark Fuller traded his Fulton County Jail attire for a polished Wall Street look as he stood before a Fulton County Magistrate this morning. Without objection from his battered wife Kelli, Fuller, who has no prior arrest for domestic battery, will be entering a 24-week treatment program for his domestic violence. Fuller will also be assessed and treated (if necessary) for alcohol and substance abuse while undergoing his domestic violence treatment. He will not be permitted to have contact with Kelli while he is undergoing treatment.
Fuller is free to select an approved treatment program outside of Georgia. He did not announce today the name and location of the treatment facility he has selected.
Fuller will report back to Court in person on October 14, 2014, to show proof of his enrollment in the court-approved treatment program. His case will be dismissed at that time. If Fuller fails to complete the 24-week program or engages in another act of domestic violence while being treated, his criminal case will be reinstated.
Fuller quickly exited the courthouse after his pre-trial treatment program was announced. Fox TV News (Atlanta) covered the hearing. No Alabama media outlets covered the hearing. Apparently, wife-beating by one of the State's most powerful federal judges is not a newsworthy event.