HENRICO COUNTY, Va.—A document submitted in court by Joe Morrissey and his team of attorneys appears to be intentionally forged, according to a copy of the search warrant used by Henrico County investigators to raid the former delegate’s law office on Monday night.
Morrissey, who was convicted for charges relating to his relationship with a 17-year-old employee, is running as an Independent in Tuesday’s special election for Virginia’s 74th District.
He reached an agreement with prosecutors to reduce his charges to just a misdemeanor charge of "contributing to the delinquency of a minor," which came with a six-month jail sentence. He has also been allowed to participate in a work release program that allows him to campaign around the district.
A search warrant made public by the Henrico County Circuit Court on Tuesday reveals that the evidence used by Morrissey’s legal team during sentencing proceedings may have included a forged document.
Investigators seized documents related to the case and multiple computers from Morrissey's office on Monday night, according to documents filed following the raid that were also obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The fraudulent document was discovered by Coleman Pride, the father of the teen at the center of the Morrissey case, who realized that his signature on a document pertaining to support payments owed by him was forged.
The document indicated that Pride owed his daughter $14,000 in support payments, and was used in an attempt to discredit his testimony regarding his daughters relationship with Morrissey.
Pride says that he never even saw the document submitted as evidence by defense lawyers, and Detective C.A. Kelley of the Henrico County Police Department writes in the warrant that evidence indicates that the fake document was merged with a real document to make it appear to be real.
The sentencing decision was a major victory for Morrissey’s legal team, as the former delegate faced charges that could have put him behind bars for 41 years and ended both his political and legal careers.
Court records show that when the document was initially presented, the prosecutor in the case objected on grounds that he had never seen the document but his objection was overruled.
Following Morrissey’s case, Coleman Pride took a copy of the document to the Chesterfield Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court that it purportedly came from to see if it actually existed, and it was not found. A different document, however, with an identical first page to the document submitted by Morrissey’s lawyers was found.
The forged document was faxed from the lawyer representing the teenage girl to Morrissey’s law firm, and warrants were issued to search both law offices.
Following the raid, Morrissey told reporters at the scene that it was "very shameful that on the day before the election they would do this."
The search warrant for the premises of Morrissey’s law firm can be read in entirety below: