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HOLMBERG: Joe Morrissey in the hotseat before heading back to jail

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Posted at 12:24 AM, Dec 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-19 00:24:10-05

Former state delegate and current state inmate Joe Morrissey has always been an open book - or, at least, an open mouth - for reporters in his almost three decades of public life here in Richmond.

That fact, coupled with his fairly regular missteps, fights, arrests, trials and very public tribulations has made him one of area's most visible and unshakeable characters - sort of the human equivalent of gum on the shoe of Richmond.

So I went to see him just hours after he resigned his house seat and very shortly before his work release was revoked for going somewhere where was wasn't supposed to - even though he and everyone else knew he was on a GPS locator and was being monitored.

With only slight hesitation, Morrissey sat for a wide-ranging interview Thursday afternoon that touched on the apparent pregnancy of the 17-year-old girl (now 18) he was convicted of having indecent liberties with; a rumored marriage; why he's certain he's going to win his seat back in the upcoming special election; whether he's "Teflon Joe" and what he thinks about his own ups and downs.

For me, one of the most telltale moments in his legislative career was when he brought an AK-47-style rifle to the General Assembly and brandished it on the floor, his thumb inside the trigger guard, to make a point about the proliferation of assault-style weapons.

I asked him if he felt it was fair to say he's lived a good bit of his life with his finger on the trigger.

"It's an interesting characterization . . . analogy," Joe responded, "and it may be true. But here's what I do . . . Everything I go about doing, I try to do it 100 percent."

I hope you get to watch the long version of the interview posted with this report. It's an unflinching look at man who fully believes that no one can hold him down.