Mark Fuller is the Alabama federal judge that was arrested for viciously beating his wife back in August. That incident wasn’t just a lapse in judgement, and the judge’s bad behavior extends way beyond what most people have seen. His history is peppered with power abuse and political trickery.
Fuller gained prominence because he was the judge that sentenced former Alabama governor Democratic Don Siegelman to seven years incarceration in relation to bribery, mail fraud, and obstruction charges. However, the conviction and sentencing drew criticism because many thought Siegelman’s conviction was less about his alleged crimes, and more about politics.
Led by Karl Rove and involving high-ranking Alabama Republicans, there was an alleged, secret campaign to destroy Siegelman’s public name. When the Siegelman case began to coalesce, Fuller was at the helm. However, Fuller’s appointment to the case wasn’t against some politician. Fuller and Siegelman had a bumpy past prior to the 2006.
Fuller was nominated and appointed to Alabama’s federal judgeship in 2002 by George W. Bush. In the years prior, Fuller was the District Attorney for Alabama’s 12th Judicial Circuit, which began in 1997. From 1999 to 2001, Siegelman ordered a routine state audit of Fuller’s DA office and found something peculiar, according to Harper’s Magazine.
The audit discovered that “there were a few incidents of insufficient or incomplete documentation or incomplete documentation of disbursements.” There was later an investigation into Fuller regarding salary-spiking practices, which is jacking up someone’s salary who is close to retirement. As Harper’s Magazine further noted, the “Alabama rule for determining state pensions counts an employee’s earning for the highest three years of the last 10 years of work.”
In the salary spike, Fuller paid his chief investigator, Bruce DeVane, $70,000 more in 2000 than what DeVane made in 1999. The Retirement Systems of Alabama oversee and administer pensions in the state. In 2003, the RSA noted Fuller’s wrongdoing and denied the spiking of DeVane’s pension.
Other than administrative wrongdoings and personal vendettas in politics, Fuller has a supposed history of hitting women. In 2012, Fuller’s previous wife, Lisa, said the judge “hit, struck, or otherwise physically abused” her and her children, drove drunk with kids in the car, abused prescription medicine, and had sex with his bailiff, reported Salon.
The bailiff’s name was Kelli Gregg. Her current name is Kelli Fuller because she is Mark Fuller’s current wife and abuse victim.
With all of these accusations, crimes, and nasty dealings, it’s sickening to know that the only way for him to leave the bench is resignation. Other than that, it would literally take an act of Congress to get kicked out. Fuller needs to be in jail, not out beating women under the protection of Alabama Republicans.