Judge dismisses restraining orders against Sen. Joe Morrissey over radio show outburst

Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond.
Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond.(Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 3:40 PM EDT
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A Republican delegate and a Democratic senator huddled in the corner of a courtroom Tuesday afternoon, trying to make out what was said on a garbled audio recording that captured some of the expletives hurled in a heated altercation last month in a Richmond radio studio.

“Is that: ‘I will f**king knock you down’?” asked Del. Tim Anderson, R-Virginia Beach, a lawyer who was representing two radio producers seeking restraining orders against Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond.

As a judge looked on, Morrissey acknowledged he had said “Get the f**k out of my office” and called the station manager a “fat f**king pig.”

“At no time did I ever say ‘I’ll kick your ass,’” Morrissey insisted on the stand, contradicting the testimony offered by the radio employees, who said Morrissey’s May 4 studio outburst made them fear for their safety.

After a hearing that lasted more than four hours, retired Arlington County judge Thomas Kelley Jr. dismissed the preliminary restraining orders that had been granted against Morrissey over the studio incident, leaving Morrissey free to continue showing up to the South Richmond building that houses both the radio station and his Senate district office.

In an interview afterward, the senator said being Joe Morrissey often means “you have a bullseye on your back.” But he said he prevailed because “multiple observers” backed up his version of the story.


.(Virginia Mercury)

The Virginia Mercury is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.

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