A child welfare investigator in Oregon concluded in 1984 that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused his foster son, The Seattle Times reports.
The Oregon Child Protective Services investigation validated Jeff Simpson’s allegations of abuse, according to public records the Times obtained.
Mayor Murray has publicly denied the allegations and made it a point that prosecutors in Oregon decided not to charge him years ago.
Simpson is one of four men who have accused the mayor of abuse when they were teenagers. Most recently, Delvonn Heckard, dropped a lawsuit against Murray, but promised to refile when the mayor has completed his term. Lloyd Anderson and Lavon Jones also allege the mayor sexually abused them.
Mayor Murray dropped out of the race for re-election, claiming Heckard’s lawsuit would be too distracting for the city. But he believes the withdrawal of Heckard’s case vindicates him.
As for Simpson, the Times reports that the Multnomah County prosecutor withdrew a criminal case against Murray not because they thought Simspon was lying, but because of his “troubled personality.”
Both Murray and Simpson appeared to be surprised that the CPS records still exist. The Times reports that upon hearing the news, Simpson responded: “Wow, wow. Thank you, Jesus.”
In an interview with the Times, Murray and his attorney questioned why Oregon officials would have held on to the CPS records without notifying the mayor.
Murray pointed out that a criminal case was withdrawn before a jury could vote to indict him.
“Other than the salacious nature of it, I don’t see what the story is,” Murray told the Times. “The system vindicated me. They withdrew the case.”
The CPS records also show that child-welfare officials decided that Ed Murray should never again be a foster parent.
Mayor Murray issued a statement on Sunday:
“I have said from the beginning that I never harmed or had an inappropriate relationship with Jeff Simpson. That remains just as true today as when I first said it. I have never engaged in sexual activity with Jeff Simpson or with any other minor.
“The Seattle Times story today does not change the basic facts of what happened in 1984, nor does it offer any tangible new evidence to buttress Jeff’s claim. More than thirty years ago, Jeff made an accusation against me – and, contrary to what he had previously told the Times and other local media, against another foster parent.
‘Those accusations were fully investigated at the time, and the District Attorney decided there was too much doubt to go forward with a case against me or the other foster parent. In fact, after examining the hundreds of pages of documents generated by the investigation, the District Attorney actually withdrew the case from the Grand Jury.
“The Child Protective Services documents the Times based its story on obviously do not tell the full story. Consistent with the findings of the District Attorney that the accusations could not be proven, there is a record with numerous accounts from others who found considerable credibility issues with Jeff and his claims.
“Jeff’s case worker at CPS never interviewed me or shared her findings with me or my attorney. That she believed Jeff’s claims at the time and advocated on his behalf is painful to see, but does not change the fact that, based on the totality of the evidence that was collected,the District Attorney declined to file charges.”
“The District Attorney wrote that her withdrawing of the case does not mean that Jeff Simpson’s claims are false. But this statement should not be taken to mean that she believed them to be true.
“Thirty-three years ago, I opened my home to a young man who, like all children, I believed deserved a stable, supportive home environment. Given my honest and heartfelt commitment to creating this for Jeff, his accusations were and remain incredibly painful, especially given that none of them are based in truth or reality. It is my sincerest hope now – as it was then – that he is provided the help and support he needs to lead a happy life.”