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The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that Circuit Judge A.P. "Pete" Fuller of Rapid City must retire or undergo a six-month suspension followed by strict probation for misconduct that involved mistreating lawyers, court personnel and others.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission had recommended that Fuller be removed from office or forced to retire because he repeatedly displayed a lack of courtesy and respect for lawyers and court staff.

The case marked the first time in the 121-year history of the South Dakota judicial system that the Supreme Court had been asked to remove a judge from the bench.

In a hearing last month, Fuller told the high court he is ashamed of his behavior but believes he could return to the bench and be an effective judge.



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