Governor Ralph Northam Pardons Sen. Morrissey for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor


Governor Ralph Northam announced Friday that he has issued more than 1,200 pardons during his term in office. That includes a January 13 pardon for Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond), who was sentenced in 2014 of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after a relationship with a 17-year-old employee who is now his wife.

“Both Myra and I are extremely pleased and are grateful for the governor’s pardon. And the people who will be most grateful and most appreciative will be my four young children in the ensuing years,” Morrissey told The Virginia Star.

Morrissey said the pardon is a statement to everyone involved in his case.

Although pardons don’t remove the crime from someone’s record, the pardon may help Morrissey work with his lawyers to get his law license restored.

“[The crime] was a factor in the license revocation; [the pardon] should be considered in giving back the license.”

Northam has also restored the civil rights of more than 126,000 Virginians, according to his press release.

“Virginians are forgiving people, who believe in second chances,” Northam said. “When people make mistakes, and pay their debts, they deserve the opportunity to return and be productive members of society. We can all be proud that Virginia has been able to provide thousands of deserving people the opportunity for a fresh start.”

Northam’s release said he has acted on 4,000 pardon petitions, more than his predecessors, thanks to added staff and resources.

“It has been an honor to work with a Governor who is so committed to second chances,” Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson said. “His actions will leave lasting impacts on countless Virginians who have moved forward from the mistakes of their past and deserve to be treated as full citizens and community members.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Joe Morrissey” by Senator Joe Morrissey.

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