Skip to comments.Del. Joe Morrissey indicted on four felonies
Posted on 01/21/2015 9:56:11 AM PST by csvset
Felony indictments were unsealed in Henrico County on Wednesday morning charging Del. Joseph D. Morrissey, I-74th, and the mother of an ex-law office worker in connection with the filing of allegedly fraudulent court documents.
Morrissey was accused of four felony counts dealing with documents that were allegedly submitted in connection with his recent sentencing on a misdemeanor conviction. The charges against Morrissey include: felony uttering a forged public record; felony conspiracy to utter a forged record; felony inducing perjury; and perjury. In his General Assembly office, a visibly annoyed Morrissey denied the charges.
Also indicted is Deidre Warren, the mother of a young woman who formerly worked in Morrissey's law office. Warren faces felony charges of forgery, perjury and conspiracy.
Morrissey last month entered a plea to contributing to the delinquency of a minor in connection with his relationship with Warren's daughter, Myrna Pride, who is pregnant. She was 17 when she worked for Morrissey. Morrissey faces up 10 years on each of four new counts and was expected to be served with indictments sometime today. He is to be arraigned Feb. 9.
The indictments stem from documents presented in Henrico Circuit Court on Dec. 12 when Morrissey entered an Alford plea to a misdemeanor offense of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was sentenced to six months in jail.
Pride's parents are divided over her relationship with Morrissey, and prosecutors have alleged the fraudulent documents were part of an attempt to discredit the father.
The documents purported to show a 2006 agreement between the parents of Myrna Pride regarding payments that were to be made by the father toward his daughters support. But the father, Coleman Pride, told investigators after the plea hearing that he had never signed an agreement requiring him to pay $50 a week. Morrissey has contended that he and Myrna Pride were discussing Myrna Prides anguish over the alleged disappearance of the money when Henrico Police were first summoned to Morrisseys home in August 2013.
A Henrico Police investigation after the plea agreement found that court records in Chesterfield County pertaining to Coleman Prides obligations to his daughter did not contain the $50-a-month provision that was made part of the record in the plea agreement hearing in Henrico.
On Wednesday, Substitute Circuit Judge Alfred D. Swersky rejected a plea from Special Prosecutor William Neely that Morrisseys work release agreement be stricken. Henrico Sheriff Michael Wade said the new charges would not bar Morrissey from continuing his current work-release status that allows him to commute from the Henrico Jail East to the General Assembly. A $2,500 personal recognizance bond was set for Morrissey. Warren, who lives with her daughter and mother in Lawrenceville, Ga., had bond set at $25,000 -- a higher figure because she lives out of state. Meantime, Associated Press reporter Alan Suderman tweeted a photo of Morrissey in his office at the General Assembly Building reading the charges on the cell phone of Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter Markus Schmidt.
You know more than I know Morrissey told reporters. Minutes before news of the indictments broke, as Morrissey was on his way back to Richmond from a Hopewell court where he was representing a client, it was business as usual at his office. Michael A. Phillips, Morrissey's legislative assistant, hung an "appreciation award" presented to his boss on the hallway wall.
Morrissey arrived at 10:40 a.m. He had avoided the elevator and taken the staircase. He first stood by the window in his office, asking reporters about the charges of which he said he knew very little. "You know more than I know," he said, and then sat down at his desk. He was visibly annoyed, pale, and repeatedly ran his fingers through his hair. "I knew that Mr. Neely was doing something, Morrissey said.
Quite frankly, I thought he would have realized at this point that all the documents are original and Mrs. Warren and our attorneys have all the original documents. I really would have thought that you all would have done your homework.
Not only are the documents original, but there are other documents that go along with that. We'll be addressing that. As far as the indictments and allegations against me and Mrs. Warren, they are absolutely false. There is no truth to it and we'll address them in court. I've done everything like I have done before, so I can't say anything more.
On the possibility he will be expelled from the House over the indictments, Morrissey said: "I can't comment on other people's doings, and what other people are waiting for. I actually thought that you (reporters) would do something based on the information that you had."
Morrissey had originally faced more than 40 years in prison had he gone to trial last month on charges linked to his alleged sexual relationship with Myrna. The fiery delegate resigned his House seat in December after his conviction on the misdemeanor, but then ran and won as an independent in a special election last week to fill the seat.
House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, called the latest development a truly painful and embarrassing chapter" for the House.
The House will evaluate these new indictments as it pertains to disciplinary action. As I have said before, we are considering all options as we determine the appropriate path forward for the House of Delegates as an institution and the commonwealth of Virginia, he said.
(This has been a breaking news update. Check back for more details as they become available.) email@example.com (804) 649-6601
Stupid SOB should not have run for office after resigning. he painted a target on himself.
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