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Pa. Rep. Brennan charged with assault, DUI for allegedly beating wife, driving drunk

Published On: Aug 30 2012 03:24:53 PM CDT
Updated On: Feb 25 2014 12:05:09 PM CST

Lawmaker arrested on assault charge involving wife

FOUNTAIN HILL, Pa. -

A Pennsylvania state Representative and member of the Liquor Control subcommittee is now facing charges of driving drunk and allegedly beating his wife.

Pa. Rep. Joseph Brennan was arrested Wednesday.

This is the second time in just over a year he has faced DUI charges.  But this time he also faces charges for assault.  He's accused of strangling his wife and punching her.

Most of the people we spoke with say they thought Brennan was working through the problems associated with his first DUI arrest and couldn't believe the allegations that he hit his wife.

"I was surprised, I thought he had put that in his past," said Anthony Spagnola, owner of Soto Santi in Bethlehem.

The pizzaria pub is directly across the street from Representative Joseph Brennan's Bethlehem office.

Spagnola says he was shocked when he found out Brennan was arrested for his second DUI in just over a year and for allegedly beating his wife.

According to the affidavit of probable cause Wednesday afternoon Fountain Hill police were called to the Brennan home on Delaware Avenue where Norma Jane Brennan told officers that Brennan "…grabbed her by the neck, choked her with both hands, slapped her in the face, punched her in the face and wrestled her to the ground on their front porch."

Brennan was arrested a short time later during a traffic stop at a park a few blocks away.

"I definitely think he should be punished accourding to the law. I'm not really sure how I feel about how it relates to his position. But I don't think it reflects very well on him as a leader," said Catasauqua resident Alyssa Rizzoberg.

The State Democratic Caucus is handling operations and media requests for Brennan's Bethlehem and Catesaqua offices.

A spokesmen said Brennan's offices will remain open to serve the people of the 133 district but would not comment on whether Brennan would or should resign.

"It is much to early to speculate on what might happen down the road. The legal process needs to play out," said Bill Patton, Caucus spokesman.

As a condition of Brennan's bail he is not allowed to have contact with his wife or return to the family home.

He's expected to have a preliminary hearing in the next 10 days.

The Lehigh County District Attorney's office is waiting for a blood alcohol tests as part of its investigation.

It's unclear what impact these charges will have on his political career.

He is currently seeking re-election and is a currently serving as a member of the liquor control sub-committee.