RICHMOND — Del. Joseph D. Morrissey, Virginia’s notorious legislator by day and inmate by night, on Tuesday completed a jail term stemming from his relationship with a 17-year-old receptionist at his law office.
Morrissey (I-Henrico) served a three-month work-release sentence, which coincided with the 2015 legislative session, on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
He left Henrico County’s Regional Jail East in New Kent County early Tuesday morning, Henrico County Sheriff Michael Wade said.
“I feel great,” an upbeat Morrissey said in a brief phone interview. “Time flew by. It went very smoothly.”
Morrissey now awaits trial on four felony counts in a separate but related case.
“I can’t wait to get our side out there. I’m anxious to move onto that,” he said.
Morrissey’s colleagues in the General Assembly discussed censuring or even expelling him, but any appetite for formally punishing him waned as the session wore on. However, House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) did strip him of his committee assignments, and Morrissey rarely spoke on the floor.
In June, Morrissey was charged with multiple felonies for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old and sharing nude photos of her. Morrissey and the woman, now 18 and pregnant with a child that prosecutors say is “perhaps” his, have denied any wrongdoing and blamed the woman’s ex-girlfriend for hacking their phones to frame them.
Morrissey agreed to a plea deal in which he admitted no guilt but avoided conviction on the felony charges. He agreed to serve a six-month jail term that was reduced to a 90-day work-release sentence. He resigned from the House but immediately declared himself a candidate in the Jan. 13 special election for his old seat. The approach won over voters but cost him his seniority.
A second indictment unsealed in January alleges that Morrissey, 57, submitted a forged document as evidence and lied under oath in the earlier case.