The man who sued, then dropped the lawsuit, against Mayor Ed Murray for alleged sexual abuse is now demanding millions from the City of Seattle.
Delvonn Heckard dropped his lawsuit in June that alleged Murray sexually abused him in the 1980s when he was a minor — he’s now 46. Heckard is asking for $1 million to $3 million from the city, arguing that the mayor used his official position as mayor to defame him while the lawsuit was active, according to The Seattle Times.
According to the claim filed July 25 and obtained by The Times:
Acting within the scope of employment for the City of Seattle, and utilizing and abusing his position of power, Mayor Ed Murray falsely and defamatorily accused Mr. Heckard, a gay man, of participating in an anti-gay right wing conspiracy along with other victims including Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson. It was recently confirmed that there was no conspiracy and Mayor Murray fabricated these allegations for political gain and in order to silence Mr. Heckard, and other victims. Mayor Murray’s lawyers and spokesman, Jeff Reading, participated in making the defamatory allegations and accusations during various press conferences over a period of months.
The claim filed with the city clerk by Heckard’s attorney Lincoln Beauregard states that the defamation was also targeted at him. It not only names the mayor, but also Robert Sulkin, Malaika Eaton, and McNaul Abel.
This is not the first time that Murray has been accused of inappropriately using his position as mayor while he was being sued by Heckard, or in response to four separate allegations that he sexually abusing minors in the 1980s.
Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez said Murray should resign after it was revealed that a 30-year-old child protective services investigation concluded he abused a foster child under his care.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant has also pressed that Murray used his position to attack his accusers.
“It is unacceptable that a mayor of a major city is using his position to amplify those attacks,” Sawant said at a July 24 council meeting. “When he questions the legitimacy of his accusers’ allegations, it gets a platform that the survivors don’t have. It’s a unique situation that deserves an unprecedented response.”