NOVEMBER 03, 2006
The veteran federal judge presiding over the corruption trial of three public officials has repeatedly used dismissive comments about the seriousness of the charges and even called them idiotic.
Senior District Judge John Fullam has skeptically questioned federal prosecutors and challenged them on the charges against three Delaware county officials, which include racketeering, wire fraud and mail fraud. The former New Castle County officials will be tried for criminal corruption and fraud for using county government for their personal and political benefit.
One of the public officials also accepted $2.7 million in loans from a developer with business pending before the county and subsequently destroyed evidence of that and other illegal activities over the years.
This week federal prosecutors filed a 23-page motion asking the judge to step aside because of his obvious bias. The government attorneys detailed a laundry list of words and actions by the senior judge in Philadelphia that demonstrate that bias.
Judge Fullam, who was appointed to the bench by Lyndon Johnson in 1966, has even questioned whether the case merits a trial, often saying “assuming there is anything to be tried.” . Fullam received national publicity for his bias in another public corruption trial. In the 1908s the judge entered an order of acquittal notwithstanding a jury’s guilty verdicts, arising from a scandal called Abscam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abscam that ultimately led to the conviction of various federal and state lawmakers.
With Fullam’s documented history of being soft on public corruption, Delaware Watch questions what took prosecutors in this case so long to ask for a new judge and goes on to suggest mandatory retirement for Judge Fullam.
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