Joseph Morrissey Hooked Up With A Teenager, Was Jailed, And Got Elected Anyway
Well, here's something truly awful and disgusting, kind of like politics in general! Virginia lawmaker Joseph Morrissey won a special election despite being embroiled in a sex scandal. And get this — he managed to pull this off while serving a six-month jail sentence on work release.
Joseph Morrissey resigned his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates after he was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor last month. Delinquency of a minor? That sounds pretty harmless. Did he help someone skip school or something? Well, that charge is legalese for a relationship with his 17-year-old receptionist at his law office. He is 57. EW. Morrissey pled guilty to the lesser charge to avoid a felony conviction, but he maintains his innocence.
But all of that didn't prevent Morrissey from winning the Tuesday election in the Richmond-area district. Once he resigned from office, he immediately pledged to run for the very seat that he gave up in the special election called to replace him. And apparently all of this scandal didn't deter the good people of the 74th district from voting for Morrissey. He defeated his opponents, winning 42 percent of the vote while running as an Independent. Democrat Kevin Sullivan received 33 percent of the vote, and Republican candidate Matt Walton snagged 24 percent.
Morrissey's constituents are apparently unflappable in their support. He has a history of fighting, disbarment, and standing in contempt of court, but has handily maintained his leadership role through four previous elections. Morrissey contributes that to his stellar work as a lawmaker. He told the Associated Press:
They're interested in my body of work in the General Assembly. Nobody works harder for their constituents than I do.
Although that may be true, there are some people who are pretty interested in his, uh, other bodies of work outside of lawmaking. Republican and Democratic leaders are already considering how to deal with the whole debacle, toying with expulsion and censuring. The legislature convened for a six-week session on Wednesday, but Morrissey might not want to get comfortable. House of Delegates Speaker William Howell said in a statement:
Mr. Morrissey’s election tonight does not change the fact that his actions fall grievously short of the standards of a public servant in the House of Delegates. As Speaker, I have an obligation to faithfully and impartially discharge my duties as presiding officer and a responsibility to protect the honor and integrity of the House of Delegates as an institution. There are a number of options available to the body to address questions of conduct regarding its members.
So, Morrissey. Your people might not care if you're rendezvous-ing with teens, but it seems your fellow lawmakers do. Wait — are politicians taking some sort of moral high ground for once?!
Images: Facebook/Delegate Joe Morrissey (2)