Morrissey, 57 in 2014, pleaded to Alford on the misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to 12 months in jail suspended for six months. He was cleared to work as a state delegate for Henrico County under a work release program, spending nights in jail in 2015.
He lost a bid for mayor of Richmond in 2016. In June 2019, he defeated Senator Rosalyn Dance, D Petersburg, in a primary.
Morrissey, a former Richmond prosecutor and local defense attorney, was disbarred but now wields significant power as a member of the state Senate Judiciary Committee, often vetting judges and expressing more independent opinions than other Senate Democrats.
His license had previously been revoked in 2003 and he was reinstated in 2012 in a 4-3 decision by the Virginia Supreme Court.
His pardon request to Northam was dated November 29.
“In 2013, it was alleged that Joe and Myrna had consensual sex,” the petition reads. “Assuming this happens, it is important to consider today’s reality. It should also be noted that when Myrna applied for a job with Mr Morrissey, she misrepresented her age when submitting her CV.”
The petition later continued:
“Myrna will be the first to recognize that she was in no way manipulated by Joe and in no way coerced by him. … They worked together, they were drawn to one on the other, they fell in love, got married, and are raising four (4) wonderful children together. A beautiful, happy family living the American Dream.”