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Henrico Sheriff tightens restrictions on Joe Morrissey

Posted at 2:40 PM, Dec 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-19 18:21:46-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Henrico Sheriff Mike Wade said  Virginia State Del. Joe Morrissey (D - Henrico) was taking advantage of the system when he actively campaigned while out of jail on work release earlier this week.

Joe Morrissey outside a grocery store on Airport Drive (Viewer submitted photo)

Joe Morrissey outside a grocery store on Airport Drive (Viewer submitted photo)

Morrissey was spotted outside a store on Airport Drive in eastern Henrico hours after he announced his resignation from his 74th district General Assembly seat.

Morrissey's resignation will not take effect until January 13, 2015, the day a special election for the seat was to be held. Morrissey's office said he was handing out campaign fliers because he planned to run in that special election.

It's a political move Virginia House speaker William Howell called "deceitful, selfish and disrespectful."

CBS 6 legal analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth said even if Morrissey were to reclaim his state delegate seat, some fellow lawmakers may try to have him expelled.

"The General Assembly can expel him on the basis of his behavior, basis on the notion that they think he essentially violated his oath of office," Dr. Holsworth said. "I think Joe Morrissey will say he hasn't done so and if he did so, he did it prior to the time he resigned and now he is just taking the oath anew and he would argue he couldn't have potentially violated it."

Sheriff Wade said going forward Morrissey would be released from jail in the morning, but that he would be restricted to only going to his law office. If Morrissey planned to go anywhere else, he would first get approval from a sheriff's deputy.

Sheriff Wade said Morrissey would be allowed to meet with constituents and campaign, but that he must first get approval first.

Morrissey was sentenced to serve six months in jail after he entered an Alford plea in Henrico Court on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Morrissey did not admit he broke the law, but did admit there was enough evidence to convict him. The charges stemmed from allegations Morrissey was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old member of his legal staff.

Joe Morrissey (PHOTO: Henrico Police)

Joe Morrissey (PHOTO: Henrico Police)

There will be a hearing Wednesday to determine whether Morrissey's work release would be revoked.

This is a developing story.