HELENA, Mont. -

A Montana federal judge will retire following an investigation into an email he forwarded that included a racist joke involving President Barack Obama.
    
U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull had previously announced he would step down as chief circuit judge and take a reduced caseload, but he informed the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that he now intends to fully retire May 3.
    
An appellate court spokesman says a March 15 order on a misconduct investigation remains confidential through an appeal period, which ends May 17.
    
Cebull wrote a letter of apology to Obama and filed a complaint against himself after The Great Falls Tribune published the contents of the email, which included a joke about bestiality and the president's mother.         A court clerk said Cebull would not comment further.