Shelby: Fuller should step down from federal bench

Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 18, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, arrested last month on a charge of battering his wife, has lost the confidence of his colleagues and others and should quit the lifetime appointment, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby said Wednesday.

Shelby, in comments first made to the Montgomery Advertiser and later released by his office, said trust in the judicial system “depends on the character and integrity of those who have the distinct honor of sitting on the bench.”

“I believe that (Fuller) has lost the confidence of his colleagues and the people of the state of Alabama,” said Shelby. “I urge him to resign immediately.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

An aide said Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, said the senator spoke by Fuller on Wednesday.

Previously, Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, said Fuller should quit.

An attorney representing Fuller did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Fuller, 55, of Montgomery, was arrested last month after a fight with his wife at a hotel in Atlanta. Fuller was put into a pre-trial diversion program that includes domestic violence intervention and he can avoid prosecution if he completes the court-approved program.

Comparing Fuller’s case to the suspension of NFL player Ray Rice, Sewell said the judge had violated the public trust and should step down.

“All acts of domestic violence are unacceptable and should not be tolerated,” said Sewell, D-Birmingham. “No one committing such abusive acts should get a pass. This is especially true for those charged with upholding and enforcing the law.”

Rice was suspended from the league after media outlets showed a video of him striking the woman who is now his wife. Fuller was stripped of all his cases and is not actively working.