Joe Morrissey confirms child with former receptionist

Published: May. 20, 2015 at 3:34 PM EDT|Updated: May. 20, 2015 at 9:52 PM EDT
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Morrissey with girlfriend, Myrna, and baby, Chase, dressed up in vintage costumes. (Source: Joe...
Morrissey with girlfriend, Myrna, and baby, Chase, dressed up in vintage costumes. (Source: Joe Morrissey)

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Virginia Senate candidate Joe Morrissey confirmed during a radio program on Wednesday morning he is the father of a child with his former receptionist.

Speaking on the Jack Gravely Show on WLEE radio, Morrissey confirmed he is the father of the 9-week-old baby, Chase, and said the mother is his girlfriend and former secretary, Myrna Pride.

"I am as engaged in Chase's life as a man could be. I'm super proud of Myrna and I love Chase," said Morrissey. "Chase is my blood. We had our baby, we love our baby."

NBC12 was the only TV station in the studio during the radio broadcast.

"You seem to keep walking through the bullets, man. You seem to keep walking through the bullets," said Gravely about Morrissey's ability to continue his political career despite a long history of scandals.

Morrissey has scheduled a press conference with Myrna and Chase for 3 p.m. Thursday in front of his law office.

The former delegate is currently running for the Virginia Senate as an Independent in the 16th district, after the Democratic Party of Virginia rejected a number of his signatures for the primary. He faces competition from Senator Rosalyn Dance, who also called into the broadcast.

The race for Morrissey's former delegate seat now appears to be a two-candidate race between Leonidas Young and Lamont Bagby. David Lambert expressed interest in running for the Democratic nomination, but also came up with fewer valid signatures than required. Party officials say nearly half the 151 signatures submitted were from outside the 74th district or did not qualify for other reasons.

Pride was at the center of a case which led Morrissey to plead guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor charges in December. Prosecutors said he had a sexual relationship with her while she was 17 and working as a part-time receptionist at his law office. Morrissey, then a delegate, entered an Alford Plea to the misdemeanor count, which means he does not admit guilt, but understands there's enough evidence for him to be found guilty at trial.

"Myrna is 19 and some odd months, the baby is nine weeks old. Sit down and do the math," Morrissey said on the program Wednesday.

A judge sentenced Morrissey to 12 months in jail with six months suspended. He served three months at Henrico Jail East while on work release to practice law and serve in the General Assembly.

Morrissey also later faced forgery charges stemming from the case, but a Henrico judge dismissed those charges in April, saying the prior plea agreement included an immunity clause stating no future charges would be filed in connection to the case. The judge felt the clause was so broad the perjury charges would raise double jeopardy concerns.

Prosecutors must now decide how to proceed in the case. The judge urged them to bring the matter to an appeals court, as he felt the public has a right to a hearing.

Pride's mother, Deidre Warren, also faces the forgery charges which are tied to child support documents which Morrissey's defense team claims were the reason she was at his home on the night of August 23, 2013. They say the teen went to discuss child support she was owed by her father, Coleman Pride, while prosecutors say the girl was there as part of a sexual relationship between the two.

Pride says she denies ever signing the form and says he never owed child support to his daughter. Prosecutors say the entire second page of the document is a fabricated public record and Warren perjured herself when testifying it was authentic.

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