On Wednesday, Virginia Senate candidate and former Virginia delegate Joe Morrissey confirmed that he had fathered a child with a former teenage secretary who worked at his law firm. He annouced the news via a Richmond, Virginia, radio station during an interview on Wednesday, May 20, 2015.
On WLEE radio, during the Jack Gravely show, he stated that Myrna Pride, his former secretary, is the mother of his child. Morrissey was the delegate for Henrico County.
The former Virginia delegate is currently campaigning as an Independent for the 16th district for Virginia. He is running for the Independent party after the Democratic Party of Virginia denied his number of signatures for his primary campaign bid.
Currently, the political race of Morrissey’s former seat in the Virginia House of Delegates is a three-man competition between him, Leonidas Young, and Lamont Bagby. David Lambery, another Virginia politician, was unable to clench a run for the Virginia House of Delegates because he did not receive enough signatures before the deadline. The Democratic Party of Virginia stated he was short on candidacy bid signatures because that over 151 of the signatures were from outside the district, disqualifying him from the contentious political race.
In December, Morrissery plead guilty for his involvement in the delinquency of a minor. Pride was the central factor in the case considering she is the person whom fathered Morrissey’s child. Prosecutors claimed that the possibly illegal sexual relationship with Pride was egregious because she was 17 years old. She was employed under Morrissey as a part-time receptionist at his law firm in Richmond. The then-delegate entered an Alford Plea during court for his crimes. An Alford Plea is a guilty plea from a defendant who states that they are innocent of the crimes they committed and they know that the prosecutors have built a case that will find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A Richmond judge sentenced the former delegate to one year in prison with six months suspended. Morrissey served three months in a Henrico County penitentiary while on work release to continue his law occupation and serve in Virginia’s General Assembly.
Furthermore, Morrissey faces forgery charges that were involved in the case. However, a Henrico judge dismissed the charges last month. The judge claimed that the Morrisseys’s prior guilty plea agreement was agreed on with an immunity clause that means no further charges would be brought forth regarding his case. Moreover, the judge believed that the immunity clause was so vague that the forgery charges would raise concerns regarding double jeopardy during the court’s proceedings.
As of now, prosecutors in the case need to figure out how to proceed with a convictions. The judge in the case has been attempting to convince the prosecution team to bring the case to the Richmond appellate court. According to reports, the judge felt that the public sector has a right to hear the details of the case.
Morrissey’s secretary, Pride, denies that she signed and acknowledged the document stating that the former delegate ever owed her child support under law. Now other information regarding an additional sentencing of the former delegate has been released. Morrissey claims that he is back to work for the Commonwealth; however, Virginia’s court system will decide if he will be able to continue his Virginia Senate bid.
By Alex Lemieux
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Photo by Taber Andrew Bain’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License