Seattle mayor: I’m resigning
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced that he will resign after a relative became the fifth man to accuse him of sexual abuse on Sept. 12.
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Murray released the following statement:
I am announcing my resignation as mayor, effective at 5 p.m. tomorrow.
While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public’s business.
I’m proud of all that I have accomplished over my 19 years in the Legislature, where I was able to pass what were at the time the largest transportation packages in state history, a landmark gay civil rights bill and a historic marriage equality bill.
And I am proud of what we have accomplished together at the City during my time as mayor, passing a nation-leading $15 minimum wage, and major progressive housing affordability and police accountability legislation, as well as negotiating an agreement to build a world-class arena that I believe in time will bring the NHL and NBA to Seattle.
But it has also become clear to me that in light of the latest news reports it is best for the city if I step aside.
To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation.
In the interest of an orderly transition of power, Council President Bruce Harrell will become Mayor upon my resignation, and will decide within the following five days whether he will fill out the remainder of my term. During this time Director of Operations Fred Podesta has been tasked with leading the transition.
A cousin of Murray accused him of sexual abuse, The Seattle Times reports.
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The Times reports that Joseph Dyer says that he was molested by Murray in the 1970s when he was 13.
“There would be times when I would fake sleeping because I didn’t want him touching me,” Dyer told the Times. “And that’s when he would molest me.”
Murray told the Times that he denies the latest allegations. He says there is a “backstory” between his family and his cousin’s family. Murray believes they want to “finish” him off.
Murray canceled his appearance at the KeyArena announcement — it was later completely canceled. He told the Times he questions the timing of the accusation.
“It’s never been our intent to take down the mayor,” Seattle Times reporter Lewis Kamb told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.
Murray’s cousin is the fifth person to accuse him of abuse.
Allegations of abuse originally surfaced in the beginning of April. Since then, the man who filed a lawsuit against Murray dropped it; he then filed another lawsuit against the City of Seattle demanding millions. His lawyer, Lincoln Beauregard, tweeted the following on Tuesday after news of the latest allegation broke:
The truth normally prevails…
— LincolnLawyer (@quietplease321) September 12, 2017
Murray has vehemently denied the allegations. He wrote an op-ed in which it alleged conspiracies of “political take down.”
Though the lawsuit against Murray was dropped, several notable names in Seattle, including two council members, have called for him to resign. The city’s LGBTQ Commission and Human Rights Commission also called for Murray to resign.
Murray previously said he will not step down before his term ends.
“I continue to believe such a course of action would not be in the city’s best interest,” he said in July. “That is why I am not going to resign, and intend to complete the few remaining months of my term as mayor.”
Murray dropped from his race for re-election.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.