Clock still ticking for Judge Fuller

Published 12:21 am Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I returned home Saturday from Denver to find these headlines from the past week: House GOP Files Health Lawsuit; ASU Trustees rescind Barlow extension; Alabama fails its youngest outcasts; Win lifts Tide to No. 2; Wilcox plants shuns Bentley, OK’s union; Baptists protest, State Court rules against gambling hall; and then there was also United States District Judge Mark Fuller still in the news.

Fuller now entered a plea deal in which he would submit to an assessment for substance abuse and take part in six months of domestic abuse counseling. If he completes the program, his criminal record could be expunged, but the damage to his reputation no doubt will continue. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court has appointed investigators and a special five-judge committee to determine what should happen to Fuller.

The investigation is on-going and Fuller’s attorney, Barry Ragsdale told Kyle Whitmore of The Birmingham News this past week that the committee that no indication has been given as to how long it will take.

Meanwhile, Fuller continues to draw his $200,000-a-year pay from the federal government. The 11th Circuit panel’s choices are limited: It could do nothing, it could censure Fuller, it could request that he resign, or it could recommend Congress impeach him which is the only way to remove him from office.

Federal judges may retire with full pay after the age of 65 or if their age and their years of service added together equal 80 or more. Before that, they get nothing. Fuller is only 56, and he’s served 12 years on the federal bench, Whitmore writes.

However, if the 11th Circuit Judicial Council asks Fuller to resign, it could waive the age requirements as a way to sweeten the deal. In other words, they could allow Fuller to be football fired.

But such a deal wouldn’t be cheap, Whitmore reports. “If you plug Fuller’s numbers into the Social Security Administration’s Life Expectancy Calculator, he probably has about 26 more years of walking around time left. If he qualified for full judicial employment benefits, that’s about $5.2 million of walking around money until the good Lord calls him home.”


The dramatic fall of Bill Cosby

Sure, the list of women talking about their experiences of rape and other sexual abuse at the hands of Bill Cosby over the past four decades continues to grow, but until now, Bill himself has remained mum on the subject, barely bothering to shake his head (in bewilderment? guilt? stupidity?) or seeming just plain dismissive about it.

But now, the man himself has finally spoken up about why he won’t be addressing these women: it’s quite frankly because he refuses to address “innuendos. On Friday, Cosby told Florida Today he won’t respond to “innuendos,” referring to the women’s accusations.


Bob Martin is editor and publisher of The Montgomery Independent. Email him at: