Should Seattle City Council be held responsible for Ed Murray?
After a second lawsuit against former mayor Ed Murray was settled out of court Monday, the lawyer in the first settlement believes that Seattle’s City Council should be held responsible.
The City of Seattle agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by Murray’s former foster son, Jeff Simpson, alleging that the former mayor had sexually abused him and three other men in the 1980s.
This comes after the city settled a similar lawsuit from Delvonn Heckard in January for $150,000. Heckard died from complications involving a drug overdose a month after his settlement, and now his lawyer, Lincoln Beauregard, is speaking out.
“I think that I feel good for Jeff Simpson that he got a little bit of justice, but not enough,” Beauregard told KTTH’s Jason Rantz. “I still personally get angry, quite frankly, at the cowardly actions on the part of our City Council, because I think they are the ones who should be morally and legally responsible.”
Beauregard has long been outspoken against what he labels Seattle’s “shadow City Hall,” where city council members have met in private to discuss key city issues, including the recent head tax (and its subsequent repeal). According to him, that same strategy was used in the wake of accusers coming out against Ed Murray.
“Internal records show that immediately after the [sexual abuse] lawsuit was filed, (the City Council) had a secret meeting over a weekend where [Councilmember] Bruce Harrell led the charge, and then made a statement to say that they were all going to remain silent,” Beauregard said.
“I think they all are at fault,” he added.
More than anyone, Beauregard argued, the Seattle City Council was meant to be the force behind protecting Murray’s accusers, and holding the former mayor responsible after he spoke out against the alleged victims.
“They were Ed Murray’s supervisors at the time — they were the ones who could reel him in,” Beauregard said. “What they were supposed to do was, in public, sit back and say ‘how are we going to deal with it? We don’t like what Ed Murray is doing in relation to slandering the victims,’ and giving him some oversight, which they really didn’t do.”
While Beauregard believes that Murray “should be held civilly responsible for what he did,” he also takes some solace in consequences that are less legal and more personal.
“I actually take some satisfaction knowing (Murray) has to live with this truth.”