Va. Lawmaker Infamous for Beating Man, Brandishing AK-47, Lands in New Scandal

Del. Joe Morrissey is being investigated for his relationship with a teenage girl.

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Del. Joe Morrissey, D-Henrico, holds up an AK-47 as he speaks for more control on such weapons during a floor speech to the Virginia House of Delegates in Richmond, Va., Jan. 17, 2013.
Del. Joe Morrissey, D-Henrico, holds up an AK-47 as he speaks for more control on such weapons during a floor speech to the Virginia House of Delegates in Richmond, Va., Jan. 17, 2013.

Del. Joe Morrissey, D-Va., is caught up in another scandal. Morrisey, who lost his law license for a decade after beating a man, is being investigated by police after an underage girl was recovered from his home.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Thursday that Morrissey is under investigation for his relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney Shannon Taylor confirmed the probe.

Police were called to a house owned by Morrissey Friday, where they found the girl, according to the Times-Dispatch. She was returned to her father, who was waiting near the home.

It's unclear where the investigation will go. The girl's mother released a statement to WJLA-TV through her attorney Friday saying her daughter works at Morrissey's law firm and was at his home "with the permission, blessing and approval, and full knowledge of her mother... to discuss a very sensitive, both personal and legal matter."

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Del. Joe Morrissey, D-Henrico, holds up an AK-47 as he speaks for more control on such weapons during a floor speech to the Virginia House of Delegates in Richmond, Va., Jan. 17, 2013.
Del. Joe Morrissey, D-Henrico, holds up an AK-47 as he speaks for more control on such weapons during a floor speech to the Virginia House of Delegates in Richmond, Va., Jan. 17, 2013.

Morrissey did not immediately respond to a U.S. News request for comment.

Morrissey, first elected to the House of Delegates in 2007, was briefly eyed as a possible candidate for state attorney general in this year's election.

A former commonwealth's attorney himself, Morrissey's law license was revoked in 2003 after he failed to comply with the terms of a license suspension stemming from an assault case.

In 1999 Morrissey attacked Gary Wycoff and allegedly threatened to kill him. He was found guilty of assault and was additionally slapped with a $1 million civil penalty, which was later reduced by half.

Wycoff, Morrissey's victim, said in a court filing that argued against the penalty reduction that Morrissey beat him after promising, "I'm going to kill you. I'm going to beat your head in."

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When Wycoff attempted to flee, his court filing said, Morrissey "grabbed [his] head by the hair and smashed his head into the corner of a brick wall. Morrissey inflicted such fear and pain that Wycoff believed Morrissey was going to kill him."

Morrissey's law record, the Virginia State Bar Association noted in 2011, included, among other infractions, "a public reprimand in March 1992 for his involvement, while serving as commonwealth's attorney, in a fist fight with opposing counsel in a criminal trial." He was given back his law license in 2011 after a court fight.

In January Morrissey attracted headlines nationwide when he brandished an AK-47 on the floor of the House of Delegates.

"A lot of people don't know that in many locations in the commonwealth, you can take this gun, you can walk in the middle of Main Street loaded and not be in violation of the law," Morrissey said, according to the Washington Examiner.

A Republican colleague reportedly interrupted Morrissey to ask that he remove his finger from the AK-47's trigger.

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