Atlanta police this weekend alleged wife-beating by the Alabama judge who helped railroad into prison former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.
Police charged U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller with misdemeanor battery early Aug. 10 following an altercation late Saturday night at the luxury Ritz-Carlton Hotel with Fuller’s second wife, Kelli Fuller, 41, a former clerk in Fuller’s courthouse. Police reported that she was injured but declined hospital treatment.
The police report said that Kelli Gregg Fuller accused the judge of cheating with another clerk who worked with him, and threw glass at him after both had been drinking.
The judge allegedly responded with violence but told police he was merely trying to defend himself, according to a report by Bill Barrow of the Associated Press. The AP quoted the judge’s stepson, Hunter Gregg, age 17, as saying he heard the dispute while passing a hotel corridor, and it was not the first of its kind.
Fuller, 55, shown in a mug shot Sunday, presides in Alabama’s federal district based in the state capital of Montgomery, where he was chief judge from 2004 to 2011 in charge of administration as well as cases. Fuller spent more than a day in the Fulton County jail without bond, thereby missing his scheduled cases in Alabama. On Aug. 11, the Atlanta judge released Fuller on a $5,000 bond for a court hearing on Aug. 22.
A former Republican leader, businessman and state prosecutor in Alabama, Fuller presided in 2006 over the federal corruption trial of Siegelman, the state’s leading Democrat.
Siegelman remains in prison on a six-year term that Fuller imposed with unusually harsh terms. Fuller refused the bond normally granted in white-collar cases during appeals, and ordered Siegelman paraded out of court in chains before the media. Siegelman, convicted primarily for reappointing a donor to a state board, was placed solitary confinement in various out-of-state prisons to keep him away from family and media inquiries.
The harsh sentence following many pro-prosecution rulings and courtroom irregularities by Fuller that have been approved by appellate judges and Justice Department officials.
Unprecedented protests by legal scholars, former prosecutors and outraged members of the public have failed to budge authorities to grant relief for Siegelman or probe his opponents like Fuller in any meaningful fashion, even though Fuller’s career began in 2003 with an unrelated complaint seeking his impeachment for corruption.
Fuller’s judicial status and his powerful political, business and media support have protected him despite serious professional and personal scandals documented here at the Justice Integrity Project site and elsewhere.
Fuller’s business and professional ties to what President Eisenhower called “The Military Industrial Complex” in a 1961 Farewell Address have presented a secret and dangerous element of the power Fuller wields as judge. Among our findings are that Fuller while a judge secretly controlled unknown to the litigants facing him up to 44 percent of the stock of a military contractor, Doss Aviation, Inc., which Fuller formerly ran as CEO.
The company operated globally, including at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery.
In one of the many Kafka-like paramilitary dimensions to the Siegelman prosecution, the Air Force base secretly housed for years a special federal-state task force devoted to one purpose: finding enough evidence under the leadership of an Air Force Reserve colonel, Steven Feaga, to imprison Siegelman, whom Fuller allegedly “hated” and whom other Republican leaders wanted removed from politics.
Feaga held a joint appointment with the Justice Department and worked closely with the GOP-controlled Alabama attorney general’s office to intimidate at the base prospective witnesses against Siegelman, thereby uniting military and civilian powers in a frightening and secret combination that the Obama administration has continued.
Thus, the weekend’s arrest is worth extended treatment.
In an age of financial austerity and diminished professional standards, the conventional media can focus on relatively specific matters like wife-beating, sexual infidelity or politically incorrect comments about race or sex.
Complex wickedness, however, involving major institutions does not fit any longer into journalistic formulas — and is thus ignored for the most part.
But not here, and not now.
We draw first on background from the Huffington Post, which provided exceptionally bold coverage in years past compared to the complacency and self-censorship of the mainstream media.
The Huffington Post front-paged several of my investigations in 2009, including:
- Siegelman’s First Trial Judge Blasts U.S. Prosecutors, Seeks Probe of ‘Unfounded’ Charges,
- Alabama Decisions Illustrate Abuse of Judicial Power
- Did DoJ Blackmail Siegelman Witness With Sex Scandal?
Most of these reports were carried simultaneously by OpEdNews. All built on the previous reporting of several courageous bloggers cited in the articles, as well as occasional mainstream commentaries such as an important CBS 60 Minutes report in 2008 that helped shape public opinion, while cravenly omitting all mention of Fuller.
The gist then and now is that defense attorneys, legal scholars and whistleblowers have provided compelling evidence that prosecutors framed Siegelman for political reasons. Fuller rubber-stamped and often augmented the travesty, as did higher courts and both the Bush and Obama Justice Departments.
The record illustrates that the Bush and Obama administrations march in unison when it comes to protecting Fuller and the tainted prosecution of Siegelman.
The White House photo at right, taken before a White House dinner for the Obamas to host the Bush family, shows at least symbolically how their interests remain far closer on core issues than commonly perceived.
The GOP has long complained that Obama was at best a naive law professor and community organizer, and at worst a radical leftist and would-be autocrat.
In fact, the Siegelman case helps expose that both Obama and Bush and their peers in both parties answer to similar puppet masters, who have scant interest in allowing another of their loyal servants like Fuller become embarrassed. Furthermore, in-depth investigation reveals that Obama has much to hide about his background and the money-making of his appointees. As one recent example, the son of Vice President Biden has just been named as a counsel to an important Ukrainian company. Republicans know and leverage many of those secrets, including about Obama’s rise to power, leaving the public in the dark for the most part.
To trigger an understandable framework for the corruption of the justice system under both national parties, it took a wife, a fight, a Saturday night — and local police.