Elizabeth Tyree reports for WSET (via ABC7 WJLA) that in last Tuesday elections in Virginia, November 5, 2019, Democrat Joe Morrissey, 61, a former Virginia lawmaker who was jailed for having sex with his underage law office intern, won the state senate seat for the 16th District — parts of Richmond, Chesterfield County, Petersburg, Hopewell, Prince George County, and Dinwiddie County.
Morrissey won with nearly 64% of the votes, defeating Waylin Ross, an independent. Virginia’s Republican Party did not bother to put up a candidate.
Four years ago in 2015, Morrissey was convicted and jailed for having sex with his then 17-year-old intern receptionist. He was in his 50s at the time and a member of the Virginia House of Delegates at.
Morrissey denied wrongdoing but entered an Alford plea to a misdemeanor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence for a conviction.
Note: An Alford plea is a guilty plea in criminal court, whereby a defendant in a criminal case does not admit to the criminal act and asserts innocence, but admits that the evidence presented by the prosecution would be likely to persuade a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty.
Morrissey later married the girl, Myrna Warren (who’s black), his second marriage. The couple now has three children. He has fathered a total of six children by four different women, including his current wife Warren. (Washington Post)
According to The Daily Wire, in 2015 Morrissey was initially indicted on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography (he had, according to prosecutors, a nude photograph of the girl and had sent it to a friend) and the electronic solicitation of a minor.
Morrissey resigned from his House District seat after conviction but won it back in a special election and served as a delegate while he spent six months in jail for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor”. In 2016, Morrissey lost a campaign to be Richmond’s mayor.
According to Wikipedia:
As an attorney, Morrissey was cited for contempt of court ten times and was jailed or arrested five times. Records from the Virginia State Bar indicate that Morrissey received a public reprimand in March 1992, and had his law license suspended twice: once in December 1993 and then again in December 1999.
On December 21, 2001, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Morrissey was disbarred and on April 25, 2003, his license to practice law was revoked by the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board.
“Frequent episodes of unethical, contumacious, or otherwise inappropriate conduct mar Joseph D. Morrissey’s career as prosecutor and private defense attorney,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit noted in September 2002. The court said, “Evidence … demonstrates Morrissey’s 15-year history of contempt citations, reprimands, fines, suspensions, and even incarcerations arising from unprofessional conduct mostly involving an uncontrollable temper, inappropriate responses to stress, and dishonesty.”
On December 16, 2011, the Supreme Court of Virginia approved a petition for his reinstatement to the bar. However, Morrissey remains ineligible to practice in the federal court….
In March 2018, the Virginia State Bar…considering his prior disciplinary and legal difficulties…ordered that Morrissey’s law license be revoked [for the second time] effective June 15, 2018…. Morrissey’s appeal of the revocation was denied by the Virginia Supreme Court on July 18, 2019.
In April 2018, Morrissey launched a bid for the State Senate, and won the Democratic primary in June.
On November 5, 2019, despite his history of criminal conviction and disbarrment, by a majority of nearly 64%, Virginia voters in the 16th District elected Joe Morrissey to represent them in the State Senate.
Ashe Schow of The Daily Wire, observes:
How bad is the Virginia GOP? So bad they didn’t even put up a candidate to run against a Democrat lawmaker who previously had been jailed for a sex scandal involving a teenage employee….
Virginia Republicans were trounced Tuesday night, losing control of the state legislature for the first time in decades. In many races across the state, Republicans didn’t even put up a candidate. That’s despite a state Democratic party grabbling with racism and sexual assault scandals. Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook photo was revealed earlier this year, showing him either in blackface or wearing a KKK robe at a costume party. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has been accused by two women of sexual assault…. Attorney General Mark Herring also admitted to wearing blackface while in college.