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Charges of election law violations dropped against State Sen. Joe Morrissey

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Posted at 5:13 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 17:36:05-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Three misdemeanor charges against State Senator Joe Morrissey have been dropped.

Morrissey faced the charges for his actions at a Richmond polling place in November of 2019. He was accused of violating Virginia code related to polling locations by handing out doughnuts to poll workers and voters at the Powhatan Community Center.

Earlier this week, Morrissey and his attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case.

Morrissey says he provided six affidavits from 2019 precinct poll workers who confirmed there was no wrongdoing and no laws were violated.

Morrissey was charged with three class one misdemeanors under a section of Virginia Code that things like loitering within 40 feet of an entrance and hindering a voter from entering or leaving.

Morrissey called the lawsuit frivolous, placing blame on Attorney General Mark Herring.

“This Donutgate debacle is laid squarely at the feet of Attorney General Mark Herring. Had General Herring taken just five minutes to look at the facts, he would have never authorized an investigation into such frivolous charges,” said Morrissey in a statement Friday.

"He is the Attroney General of the Commonwealth. He abused his office, his power and his resources by investigating somebody for the sole purpose of scoring political points," he added after the dismissal.

Attorney General Herring responded to Morrissey's allegations, saying his office has had no involvement in the decision to request an investigation.

"The Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney requested the investigation and asked a judge to appoint a special prosecutor. The Virginia State Police conducted the investigation. The New Kent Commonwealth’s Attorney made the decision to file and ultimately drop the charges," said said Office of the Attorney General Press Secretary Charlotte Gomer in a statement to CBS 6. "The Office of Attorney General had no involvement in the decision to request an investigation or a special prosecutor, the investigation itself, or the charging decision, and has no involvement in the case."