WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa has asked the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to update the committee on its investigation into the alleged misconduct by federal judge Mark Fuller.
Fuller is a judge on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. He was arrested in August 2014 on a state criminal charge involving allegations of spousal abuse.
“The judge’s alleged actions raise serious questions, and, if true, will significantly undermine his ability to serve in his current capacity,” Grassley said.
Federal law requires certain procedures to be followed when an investigation of a federal judge is initiated. The Judicial Improvements Act requires a special committee appointed by the chief judge of the circuit court to produce a comprehensive written report complete with recommendations for appropriate action.
The text of Grassley’s letter is below. A signed copy of the letter is here.
April 8, 2015
The Honorable Ed Carnes The Honorable Gerald Tjoflat
Chief Judge U.S. Circuit Judge
United States Court of Appeals, United States Court of Appeals,
Eleventh Circuit Eleventh Circuit
56 Forsyth Street, N.W. 56 Forsyth Street, N.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303 Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Dear Chief Judge Carnes and Judge Tjoflat:
I am writing to request an update on the status of the investigation by a special panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit into alleged misconduct by United States District Court Judge Mark E. Fuller of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.
It has come to my attention that a special committee of the Eleventh Circuit, whose members were appointed by the Eleventh Circuit’s Acting Chief Judge, has been conducting an investigation into a complaint against Judge Fuller. The filing of this complaint, which reportedly stems from Judge Fuller’s arrest last August on a state criminal charge involving allegations of spousal abuse, raises serious questions, and, if true, the allegations may significantly undermine his ability to serve as a judge.
Congress has an interest in the expeditious resolution of the investigation, as federal law dictates certain procedures that must be followed when the judiciary launches an investigation of a complaint against a federal judge. Specifically, under the Judicial Improvements Act (28 U.S.C. § 353), after investigating such a complaint, a special committee appointed by the chief judge of a circuit must produce a comprehensive written report, which presents the findings of the investigation and the committee’s recommendations for necessary and appropriate action.
I request that you provide this Committee with an update on the status of your investigation and the date by which you expect to have issued the comprehensive written report that is required by statute. Thank you in advance for your prompt response.
Charles E. Grassley