Special committee is appointed to investigate federal judge accused of domestic violence
A special committee led by 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Gerald Tjoflat will investigate an Alabama federal judge accused of assaulting his wife.
The five-member committee will investigate U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Montgomery, according to the Daily Report (sub. req.). In addition to Tjoflat, the committee includes two other circuit judges and two district judges, according to Fuller’s lawyer, Barry Ragsdale. Two committee members are women, Ragsdale said.
Fuller was arrested in August at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta after his wife told police he pulled her to the floor, kicked her, dragged her around the room and hit her in the mouth during an argument. Several lawmakers called for Fuller’s resignation, while the 11th Circuit reassigned his cases after the incident.
According to federal court rules, a special committee is appointed to investigate a complaint of judicial misconduct unless the court’s chief judge dismisses the complaint or resolves the matter. Tjoflat is acting as chief judge in the Fuller matter. The Daily Report speculates that the 11th Circuit’s chief judge, Edward Carnes, may have recused himself because his office is in Montgomery where Fuller is based. The special committee will make recommendations to the 11th Circuit’s Judicial Council, which could take action such as a reprimand or a request for the judge to retire.
Fuller agreed to a plea deal in September in which a misdemeanor battery charge will be dropped if he successfully completes domestic violence and substance abuse programs.