There is no politician in Richmond as colorful as Democrat Joe Morrissey. Nor has any Virginia politician had as many legal charges brought against them. Now he’s in trouble again. He has been charged with three misdemeanors for campaigning inside a polling place during the 2019 election. The 63 year old was arraigned on Thursday.
Morrissey thinks it’s much ado about nothing, referring to the incident and charges as donutgate. He claims he was simply delivering Krispy Kreme donuts to the poll workers and posing for some photos with them and voters, at their request. Morrissey was running in Richmond as the comeback kid for the state senate. He won.
From the Washington Post:
A spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police said the investigation was opened at the request of Richmond’s commonwealth’s attorney and involved Morrissey’s “presence and actions at a polling location” in the city on Nov. 5, 2019, as he was seeking his state Senate seat.
A video posted to social media showed Morrissey visiting with poll workers, delivering doughnuts and posing for pictures.
Morrissey served in the House of Delegates from 2008 to 2014. During that time he was charged with having sex with a minor and sentenced to jail. He was released daily when the House of Delegates was in session to serve in the House. The minor, Myrna Pride, worked in his law office. He later married her and they have three children. He has three or four other children from previous relationships. Photos of his wedding here. More on Morrissey here.
In addition to his numerous arrests, Morrissey has lost his law license twice (or is it three times?) and is currently unable to practice law in Virginia. Morrissey’s comments on this latest arrest for campaigning in a polling place:
Morrissey went on to blame the matter on state Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D), who authorized the state police to conduct the investigation. State law requires the governor, the attorney general or a grand jury to sign off before an elected official can be investigated, according to Herring spokeswoman Charlotte Gomer.
“I’m shocked but not surprised” by Herring’s decision, Morrissey said, who suggested that it came after Morrissey had endorsed Del. Jerrauld C. “Jay” Jones (D-Norfolk) over Herring in next year’s race for attorney general.
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More on his current charges here.