COLUMBUS -- A Muscogee Superior Court judge, who handled an unusual case in which a man convicted of child molestation was sentenced to a prison term but never served it, has submitted his letter of retirement to Gov. Nathan Deal.
Judge Douglas Pullen’s retirement comes as the Judicial Qualifications Commission looks into the case. Pullen had sentenced Melvin Charles Moseley, who had pleaded guilty to child molestation, in 2003.
Prosecutors said he had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. The case was a factor in Pullen’s decision to retire, the judge told the Associated Press.
“I made a mistake like I have never made in my whole life,” Pullen said in a telephone interview. Pullen’s term would have expired at the end of 2012. Deal will appoint a successor to fill out the term.
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Pullen has handled more than 30 class-action suits, resulting in more than $33.8 million in pools of leftover money known as “cy pres” or remainder funds. Pullen has approved dozens of contributions to universities and other organizations in Columbus and around the state, according to a review of hundreds of documents provided to the Ledger-Enquirer by attorneys who filed the suits and administered the funds.
One of the largest beneficiaries was Pullen’s alma mater, Mercer University. The judge has directed more than $5.76 million to the university’s medical and law schools. He said last week he planned to teach one course at Mercer’s Walter F. George School of Law next year.