2017-09-13 03:18:45 UTC
by Jim Brunner and Daniel Beekman
September 12, 2017
The Seattle Times
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigned Tuesday, just hours after new
allegations that he had sexually abused a younger cousin decades ago in
Murray, a former Democratic state legislator elected mayor in 2013,
said in a statement he is resigning effective 5 p.m. Wednesday.
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 publics business, Murray said in a statement, adding he
was proud of his accomplishments while in office.
The mayor stayed in his office Tuesday and didnt address his staff at
large before his resignation announcement, according to a source. Pizza
was seen being delivered to his staff on the seventh floor of City Hall.
City Council President Bruce Harrell will temporarily serve as mayor
and will decide within five days whether to fill out the remainder of
Murrays term. If he decides against it, the council would pick another
of its members to serve as mayor until the Nov. 7 election results are
In a statement, Harrell said, my heart goes out to survivors of
sexual abuse due to the re-traumatization these allegations have
These accusations are unspeakable and require the utmost attention
from our legal and social service system no matter how long ago they
might have occurred.
Harrell added the city must focus on governance and day-to-day
business without distraction, saying he has a plan in place for a
Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant blasted her colleagues for not
acting to push Murray from office sooner. Unfortunately, the majority
of the City Council failed to show any such leadership, she said.
Murrays resignation came shortly after The Seattle Times reported
Tuesday morning on allegations by Murrays cousin, Joseph Dyer, 54, who
has become the fifth man to publicly accuse Murray of child sexual
Dyer says he was 13 when Murray forced him into sex when the two shared
a bedroom at Dyers mothers home in Medford, New York, in the
His mother, Maryellen Sottile, said we were very glad to hear that
hes resigned. We hope it helps the others in some way.
Murray, 62, a former Democratic state legislator, has repeatedly denied
that he sexually abused anyone, contending the accusations are part of
a political takedown targeting him for his progressive politics and
record as a gay-rights champion. He attributed the latest claims to bad
blood between two estranged wings of the family.
Another accuser, Jeff Simpson, a former foster son of Murrays who
claims Murray began abusing him at age 13, said of the resignation: I
couldnt believe it. I was like, you know what? God is good. When
youre doing the right thing and dont quit before the miracle, God
takes care of stuff. Its just on his time.
Simpson met Murray while growing up in a Portland group home for
troubled children in the late 1970s. He tried to bring attention to his
allegation in 2008, when Murray was in the Legislature, but his account
was never publicly reported.
On Tuesday, he said, If nothing else happens, and nothing else comes
of it, for me, I will be OK. Because I believe I got my story out
This allowed me to show my son the new cycle of my life, to show how to
go about dealing with major things in your life and not give up. That
its OK to stand up for what you believe and tell the truth.
A third accuser, Lloyd Anderson, who also met Murray in the Portland
group home, issued a statement through his lawyer.
I feel victory, but saddened that it required another victim to come
forward for him to resign. I wonder how many other victims are out
there, said Anderson, who has alleged he was paid for sex as a
teenager by Murray in the 1980s in Portland.
Murray ended his bid for a second term earlier this year because of the
scandal, but had staved off calls to resign before his term ended.
He had retained support for finishing out his term from a majority of
the City Council and four former mayors.
But his remaining support deteriorated after the latest allegations
Its clear that it is in everybodys best interest for him to resign.
As a parent, former public official and openly gay woman, these
allegations are beyond sad and tragic; no official is above the law,
candidate Jenny Durkan said in a statement just before Murray announced
Durkan, a former U.S. attorney, had accepted Murrays endorsement and
had previously declined to call for his resignation.
Her rival in the mayors race, Cary Moon, called for Murray to step
down months ago.
Moon reiterated her stance Tuesday, saying the mayors response to the
allegations had been deeply inappropriate and harmful, especially to
survivors, LGBTQ people and young people everywhere. Survivors of
sexual assault must be believed and treated with respect.
Former Mayor Greg Nickels, who had previously said Murray should be
allowed to finish his term, said in an email Tuesday Given the new
allegations the Mayor is making the right decision [to resign].
As for Simpson, he said, Is it justice, is it closure? I dont know.
But this definitely this is a major step in the right direction.
Buzzsaw: I will never link homosexuality with child rape. Nope, not me.
"President Trump would beat Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in a
hypothetical 2020 election..."