By MELINDA WILLIAMS
BLACKSBURG – The Virginia State Bar has suspended the law license of a Blacksburg attorney jailed and awaiting trial on drugs charges.
The State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended 66-year-old Joseph Graham Painter Jr.’s license Friday, Dec. 20, on the grounds of “impairment,” according to a press release issued Monday. The release does not go into specifics of the suspension and the disciplinary action had not been posted on the State Bar website as of press time.
Painter continues to be held in Western Virginia Regional Jail.
According to online court records, a hearing was held in Painter’s criminal case in Montgomery County Circuit Court Dec. 9, but he has yet to be tried on his February 2013 charges of possession with intent to distribute a Schedule IV controlled substance and three counts of giving or selling a firearm to a convicted felon. His co-defendant, Doris Ann Oliver, 21, of Roanoke, also is awaiting trial.
Painter and Oliver were arrested earlier this year after officers from Christiansburg Police Department and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a possible fight between two occupants of a vehicle parked in a hotel parking lot on Laurel Street in Christiansburg. Authorities said the arrests were based on evidence collected at the scene.
Oliver is charged with one count each of possession of ammunition for a firearm after being convicted of a felony, and two counts of possession of a firearm after being convicted of a felony.
Painter’s law license was suspended for a year in 2003 after he pleaded guilty or no contest in 2001 to three misdemeanor counts of setting fires and one misdemeanor count of property destruction. Those charges stemmed from incidents that occurred in 1999 and 2000, court records show.