Sen.Joe Morrissey was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in
December of 2014 after engaging in an intimate relationship with his 17-year-old
secretary. Now, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has granted him a simple pardon
for the crime.
Morrissey, who like Northam is a Democrat, said he learned of the simple pardon
Thursday after he sent a petition at the end of November.
“To say that I was extremely pleased with what the governor did would be, perhaps
for me, the understatement of the 2022 General Assembly session,” he said, according
to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Most importantly, my wife is grateful.”
Sen.Joe Morrissey, now 64, left his seat in the House of Delegates eight years ago
after being convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He won
reelection as an independent in a special election a short time later and spent nights
in jail while working during the day in the General Assembly as part of a work-release sentence.
Morrissey’s career over the years has been marked with more controversy, including
disbarment, failed bids for Richmond mayor, and winning his current state Senate
seat in 2019. He is married to the woman at the center of the 2014 conviction, Myrna
Morrissey, and they have four children together.
Northam announced Friday that he has granted pardons to over 1,200 Virginians over
the past four years, including exonerating eight individuals who he said served
lengthy prison sentences after being wrongfully convicted.