Sanctuary city mayor resigns over latest sex allegation scandal

BY ANNETA GRIFFEE / SEPTEMBER 13, 2017 / Ed Murray

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After a fifth sexual abuse allegation was launched against him, a Democratic mayor resigned Tuesday.

In April, a man sued Seattle mayor Ed Murray, saying he had been raped by Murray when he was 15 years old, in 1986, and the abuse allegedly continued for several years. After that first claim became public, additional men came forward with similar stories.

In May, after the fourth man came forward stating he also was a victim of Murray’s abuse, Murray dropped his bid for re-election but insisted he would serve out the remainder of his mayoral term.

However, on Tuesday, Murray’s younger cousin, Joseph Dyer, 54, stepped forward to say he too was sexually molested by Murray when he was only 13 years old, during a time the adult Murray was living with his family, back in the 1970s.

Dyer said he had to share a bedroom with his cousin and was sexually molested by him during that time. Murray was working at a Catholic group home, and a boy there also accused him of abuse, prompting his father to work out a deal with the group home wherein they wouldn’t press charges if Murray left town and never returned, Dyer revealed.

That fifth allegation, by his cousin, was enough to finally get Murray to resign from his position as mayor, although he still denies the charges.

“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,” Murray stated.

Instead of making a public appearance, the mayor issued a statement, saying his resignation would be effective at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

City Councilmember Tim Burgess said, “The accumulation of these accusations, and now coming from a family member, just made it essential that he resign.”

Read Murray’s full resignation statement below:

Statement from Mayor Ed Murray

SEATTLE (September 12, 2017) – Today, Mayor 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.”