Convicted lifelong Democrat lawmaker wins re-election Tuesday from Virginia jail

A veteran Virginia lawmaker won re-election Tuesday from jail, where he’s serving a six-month sentence related to a sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

joemorrissey0114newIf you guessed he was a Democrat, you’d be almost right. Lifelong Democrat Joseph Morrissey was running for the House of Delegates as an independent this time and defeated a Democrat and Republican for the seat.

It was his voters that were Democrats.

According to the Washington Post:

Voters were apparently unmoved by Morrissey’s plea last month on a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, which stemmed from his relationship with a 17-year-old receptionist at his law office. The 57-year-old lawmaker maintained his innocence while entering a guilty plea to avoid a possible conviction on felony charges.

The heavily Democrat district outside Richmond will get the benefit of Morrissey’s representation thanks to a work-release program that allowed him to get out of jail for up to 12 hours a day for campaigning or to work at his law firm.

He was back in his cell Tuesday night by the time the results were finalized, the Post reported.

The arrangement is expected to be in place for Morrisey’s work in the legislature, including a GPS monitoring device, but could be changed to allow for long lawmaking days, the Post explained.

But it might not come to that.

Democrat and Republican lawmakers in the House are already trying to decide whether to kick Morrissey out before things go too far.

So Morrissey is unpopular with both parties these days. But in his previous incarnation as a Democrat, he was the commonwealth attorney for Richmond (an elected position known as “district attorney” in most other states) as well house a lawmaker who gained fame in 2013 for pulling an unopened AK-47 from his desk on the House floor during a debate over gun-control laws. (Morrissey was on the gun-grabbers’ side, naturally.)

For whatever it’s worth, the teen Morrissey was accused of having sex with is now 18 and pregnant.

She denies that Morrissey is the father of the child, though perhaps say “perhaps” he is, according to the Post.

“The truth will come out,” she said told the Post. “And I’m looking forward to that day when that does happen.”


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