Virginia Democrat Wins Reelection From Jail

Virginia Delegate Joseph D. Morrissey / AP
January 14, 2015

Virginia’s 74th state district reelected Joe Morrissey to the House of Delegates in a special election held on Tuesday. He celebrated his victory from a jail cell.

Morrissey resigned from the seat last December after he was convicted for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old employee at his law office.

Morrissey, a Democrat who ran as an Independent, received more than 42 percent of the vote in a district that has long been safe for Democratic candidates.

The Henrico County Sheriff’s Office gave him permission under its work release program to leave the jail and spend election day campaigning around his district.

The polls closed at 7 p.m. and Morrissey had an 8 p.m. curfew, so he was forced to give his post-election interview from a jail cell.

This is certainly not the end of Morrissey’s legal saga, as documents revealed yesterday by the Free Beacon indicate that he is being investigated for attempting to defraud the court with forged documents during his trial.

"I’ll address that…you know, it’s like a wrestling tournament, you wrestle one match at a time," Morrissey told CBS 6 during his jail cell interview regarding the investigation.

Members on both sides of the aisle in Virginia’s legislature also said that they are still exploring ways to oust Morrissey from his seat.

"His conviction and actions over the past two months were reprehensible, and we will be exploring every avenue in regard to his status as a member of the House of Delegates," said state Democratic leaders in a statement.

The Republican speaker of the house William J. Howell similarly said that "there are a number of options available to the body to address questions of conduct regarding its members."