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Supreme Court rejects Joe Morrissey appeal citing his ‘long and notorious book of disciplinary history’

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia State Senate candidate Joe Morrissey is not allowed to practice law in Virginia. The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Virginia State Bar. The Bar revoked the former Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s law license — for a second time — last summer.

The law license revocation centered around ethics complaints against Morrissey. Complaints that included the then 55-year-old lawyer’s 2013 sexual relationship with his then 17-year-old receptionist. Morrissey eventually married and started a family with Myrna Pride.

In December 2014, Morrissey was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and served jail time for the crime.

In an effort to regain his law license, Morrissey argued he was unaware of Pride’s true age at the time their relationship began.

A notion the Virginia Supreme Court rejected.

“The Bar produced ample evidence that Morrissey actually knew [she] was a minor. Morrissey first met [her] at the Foot and Ankle Center, where she worked. As he was admiring [her], another employee informed him that she was underage,” the justices wrote in their opinion. “When Morrissey began talking with her, she told him that she was about to graduate from high school.”

In affirming the earlier ruling to revoke Morrissey’s license, the justices cited his “long and notorious book of disciplinary history – to which one more chapter has now been added.”

The history, according to the Virginia Supreme Court, included:

Three Dismissals with Terms
A Private Reprimand
A Public Reprimand
A Suspension of his license to practice law for six months
A Suspension of his license to practice law for three years
The Revocation of his license to practice law in 2003

In June 2019, voters elected Morrissey to serve the as the Democratic candidate in Virginia’s 16th State Senate district.

Due to the political breakdown of the district (heavily Democrat), political analysts said Morrissey would almost undoubtedly cruise to victory in November as the next state senator.

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