By Associated Press

Voters who have long overlooked Virginia lawmaker Joseph D Morrissey’s history of fistfights, contempt of court citations and disbarment have now given him a pass for a sex scandal that landed him in jail, choosing him over two decidedly less colorful candidates in a house of delegates special election.

But a chilly reception awaits Morrissey when the general assembly opens Wednesday. House leaders who pressured the Democrat to resign after his conviction, then fumed over his decision to run as an independent to reclaim the seat, were already researching the procedure for expelling him before Tuesday’s balloting.

“Mr. Morrissey’s election tonight does not change the fact that his actions fall grievously short of the standards of a public servant in the house of delegates,” Republican house speaker William J Howell said in a statement, adding that he has a duty “to protect the honor and integrity of the house of delegates as an institution.”