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. 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.
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.
Tjoflat also served on a panel that corruptly denied an appeal of my unlawful termination at the University of Alabama's Birmingham campus (UAB). Evidence shows I was fired from my job of 20 years for writing accurately on this blog about Fuller's unlawful actions in the Siegelman case. UAB's own IT investigator showed that I never wrote my blog on work time or equipment, and the university's own grievance committee found I should not have been terminated. In fact, no evidence was presented at the grievance hearing that I should have been disciplined at all. But then UAB president Carol Garrison went against her committee and upheld my termination anyway.
During my lawsuit, U.S. District Judge William M. Acker Jr. violated black-letter law by granting UA summary judgment even though no discovery ever was conducted in the case. In fact, a discovery schedule was not even set. Despite that clear violation of procedure and case law, Tjoflat's panel used a "Do Not Publish" opinion to deny my appeal.
In other words, Gerald Tjoflat now is acting like a tough guy against Mark Fuller. In fact, Tjoflat is a dubious character who has acted for years as Fuller's enabler.
Is Tjoflat now trying to quietly clean up some of the stink that he helped create? Sure looks that way from here.
What lies ahead for Fuller? Alyson Palmer provides some insight on that:
Friday's letter from Fuller to President Barack Obama, saying the judge would resign effective Aug. 1, would appear to moot the question of impeachment as a practical matter. But Monday's order signifies that judicial leaders within the Eleventh Circuit were willing to hand down the most significant disciplinary consequence within their arsenal.
|Gerald B. Tjoflat|
An August police report said Fuller's then-wife accused him of assaulting her at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Atlanta. He later agreed to a domestic violence intervention program and alcohol and substance abuse assessment to resolve the resulting misdemeanor battery case against him. Fuller's Atlanta criminal defense lawyer has said that Fuller made no admission of guilt and that, upon completion of the program, the case against him would be dismissed and his arrest record expunged.