In a letter to Delegate Richard Morris (R-Suffolk) the House leadership has asked him to resign as Delegate.
Last week Delegate Morris was charged with 14 counts of crimes against his family. He is being charged with cruelty and injury to a child and assault and battery against an adult female, presumably his wife. The House leadership issued this statement,
“We are deeply concerned by the charges against Delegate Rick Morris. While we all believe that individuals are innocent until proven guilty and entitled to their day in court, these are serious and troubling allegations,” the House of Delegate’s Republican leadership said a joint statement issued Saturday afternoon. “Accordingly, we have asked Delegate Morris to resign his seat effective immediately.”
The letter was signed by House Speaker William J. Howell, Majority Leader M. Kirkland “Kirk” Cox, Caucus Chairman Timothy D. Hugo, Majority Whip Jackson H. Miller and Deputy Majority Leader C. Todd Gilbert.
Also in the statement those members of the leadership said,
“He (Morris) needs this time to focus on his personal and family life and we pray for the comfort and healing of everyone involved in this situation,”
Republican Party Chairman John Whitbeck joined in asking Morris to resign,
“ Morris must put the welfare of his constituents ahead of his political career.”
“These are serious charges, and Delegate Morris cannot be an effective representative of the people while he answers them through the judicial system,”
Delegate Morris is married with nine children. He is an attorney who has been in the House of Delegates since 2012. Morris was first arrested on Tuesday. After further investigation Morris arrested again on Thursday.
From the Richmond Times Dispatch,
In Thursday’s arrest, Morris was charged with three more felony counts of cruelty and injuries to children; three felony counts of child endangerment; three misdemeanor counts of domestic assault involving a minor; and two counts of misdemeanor domestic assault involving an adult female family member, Suffolk police said.
In total, he faces 14 charges for crimes allegedly committed against the two family members, according to Suffolk police.
After the first arrest, Morris was released on a $1,500 bond. After being arrested again Thursday on the 11 additional charges, Morris was released again on a $1,500 bond.