U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller "will not qualify for either a judicial salary or be eligible for a judicial pension," according to a statement just released by the bi-partisan leaders of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. His resignation from the federal bench "in shame", as the statement describes Fuller's stated intention to step down as of August 1, will disqualify him from any further payment for his role on the federal judiciary.
In their statement, posted in full below, committee chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and ranking member Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) make clear that they were prepared to consider impeachment of the federal judge, prior to the resignation letter he tendered to the President over the weekend.
Fuller, a 2002 George W. Bush-appointee to the federal bench in Alabama's Middle District, was arrested last August on charges of beating his wife at a hotel room in Atlanta. Prior to that, he had been most well known for overseeing the controversial trial of Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman.
"It is a rare occasion when the U.S. Congress impeaches a federal judge and removes the accused from the bench, but it is a necessary tool to protect the integrity of our judicial system," the two high-ranking Congressmen say in their joint statement. "However, the House Judiciary Committee was prepared to initiate impeachment proceedings against Judge Fuller pending the recommendation of the Judicial Conference of the United States, and the Committee strongly encouraged the courts to expedite the investigation into Judge Fuller's misconduct."
On Monday, as we reported in detail, following a nearly 10-month probe of the incidents surrounding the disgraced Judge's arrest in 2014, the 11th Circuit Court's Judicial Conference issued an order [PDF] stating that the matter "might constitute one or more grounds for impeachment."
Unless he had voluntary stepped down, impeachment would have been the only way to remove Fuller from his lifetime appointment to the bench, despite the charges of domestic abuse. Judge Fuller submitted his resignation to the President late last week in advance of the publication of the Judicial Conference's order, but questions had remained about whether he had struck a deal that would allow him to accept a retirement pension after stepping down from his $200,000/year job.
According today's statement from Goodlatte and Conyers, so long as he leaves by August 1, he will not receive any compensation from the federal government thereafter...
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