Political Prisoner

Sheriff explains the terms of Delegate Joe Morrissey’s daily work release from jail.

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Delegate Joe Morrissey speaks to reporters Sunday after attending a church service in north Richmond. - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • Delegate Joe Morrissey speaks to reporters Sunday after attending a church service in north Richmond.

Henrico County Sheriff Mike Wade confirmed Sunday that Delegate Joe Morrissey will be allowed to continue his political activities as part of a work release program at the jail.

That includes making public appearances and speaking to the media, Wade said: “That’s part of his job as a politician.”

Morrissey is serving a six-month sentence for a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. That didn’t stop him from attending a church service Sunday morning, at which he was greeted with whoops and cheers.

Afterward, he spoke to the media, addressing bipartisan calls for his resignation from his colleagues in the General Assembly.

Morrissey, who prosecutors say had sex with the 17-year-old receptionist at his law office, said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll resign.

If he doesn’t, Democratic lawmakers have promised to do everything in their power to have him expelled. If not, through the jail’s work release program, he could work in the state legislature during the day and spend his nights in jail.

Morrissey was granted work release by a judge, but the terms of that release are granted by the jail.

Wade says Morrissey submits a list of his planned activities to the jail for approval, and under the terms of Morrissey’s work release, he can go to whatever events or meetings are necessary for his job.

“That’s why he has to wear the ankle bracelet,” Wade says.

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