Gov. Ralph Northam has pardoned Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, for a misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor related to his relationship with a 17-year-old assistant who later became his wife.
Morrissey, then a delegate, was convicted in 2014. He and his wife Myrna are now raising four children.
Morrissey said he learned of the pardon on Thursday. Northam granted him what’s called a simple pardon.
“To say that I was extremely pleased with what the governor did would be, perhaps for me, the understatement of the 2022 General Assembly session,” he said.
“Most importantly, my wife is grateful,” he said.
And although their young children don’t understand a pardon yet, they’ll be grateful someday for the governor’s action, Morrissey said.
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Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, was Morrissey’s attorney in his pardon request.
“A simple pardon doesn’t change any legal consequences associated with a conviction, but I think in a lot of ways it serves as a sort of validation that somebody moved on from the situation that led to the crime at issue and has done a lot to redeem themselves,” Surovell said.
Northam leaves office Saturday as Glenn Youngkin is inaugurated as Virginia’s 74th governor.
This is a developing story and will be updated.