RVA Politics is a blog about politics in the state of Virginia And the capital city of Richmond.

The author is a political scientist. Please don't hold that against him.

 

Inside GA, all business; outside, it's all Joe

The VA General Assembly is in full swing. You can track the over 2500 pieces of proposed legislation here, among other places.

I was at the GA building last week visiting interns and their supervisors, and the talk was mostly about the business at hand. But outside the building, everyone I know is asking about only one thing: what's going to happen to Delegate Joe Morrissey.

If you'll recall, Morrissey won national recognition for winning a special election from jail earlier this month. (For example, I talked to the Christian Science Monitor about his win last week.) So Morrissey gets to continue to represent his district, albeit without seniority -- and so in a smaller office.

But last week news broke that he was indicted on four felony counts related to his other troubles. The story prosecutors will tell is this: Morrissey slept with his underage receptionist and, when called out about it by the young woman's father, produced forged court documents to show the dad was a deadbeat. Both Morrissey and his former receptionist's mother are charged with perjury as a result of their introduction of these documents.

Of course, Morrissey has always maintained his innocence, and only introduced the questioned documents to show that he was helping his receptionist with a legal matter. The felony indictments make this story much harder to swallow - if it was ever possible to choke it down.

Still, no word yet from the GA about what anyone there is going to do about it. The same calculus that existed before the felony indictments still is at work here. The GA has the power to expel a member, but as the RTD noted, Morrissey is likely to fight any attempt to do so. Rather than wage a long, drawn-out battle with a defiant Morrissey, the GA Dems' best option may be to wait him out. If he's convicted on these felony charges or forced to take a plea, they can much more easily convince him to resign, or at least expel him without much complaint.

But that's likely to all go down after the session. So Joe Morrissey gets at least one more round of being a Delegate.

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