Seattle Mayor Ed Murray Resigns After Cousin Accuses Him Of Child Sex Abuse

Sep 12, 2017

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced his resignation on Tuesday after the latest sexual abuse allegation against him.

The resignation comes after a younger cousin accused him of sexual abuse in the 1970s. 

Murray's full statement is below:  

“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 am announcing my resignation as mayor, effective at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

“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.”

The Seattle Times reports that Joseph Dyer, 54, accuses Murray of repeatedly molesting him when he was a teenager. 

Dyer is the fifth man to accuse the mayor of such abuse. 

Murray has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual abuse. He has said in the past that accusations from four men were part of a right-wing political agenda to take him down. According to the Times, Murray said the latest accusation is false and is likely because of a family rift. 

Dyer says Murray forced him into sex while they shared a bedroom in Dyer's childhood home, according to the Times. Dyer says he was 13 years old at the time. Murray lived with Dyer's family in New York after his mother passed away. 

Dyer has provided a signed declaration to a Seattle lawyer representing Delvonn Heckard, the man who sued Murray earlier this year for repeatedly raping him in the 1980s. The lawsuit has since been withdrawn but Heckard has filed a claim for damages against the city of Seattle.

According to the declaration, published by the Times, Dyer was prompted to come forward after seeing a press conference in which Murray denied accusations made by Heckard and others.

The statement reads:

"I am offering this declaration to rebut Murray's claims that he never molested a child and/or the allegations against him were concocted as some sort of right-wing conspiracy. I do not know any of the other victims mentioned in this statement, and I am not part of any conspiracy. In fact, I am related to Murray. I am Murray's cousin."

The declaration states that Murray molested Dyer over the course of a year. It also calls on Seattle's elected officials to "do what is right and remove Murray from office."

Murray had previously said repeatedly that he wouldn't resign. 

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