Gay Seattle Mayor says he’s ‘vindicated’ as sex abuse lawsuit withdrawn
A sex abuse lawsuit that ended the career of the out Mayor of Seattle has been withdrawn.
Out Democrat Ed Murray has served as the Mayor of Seattle since 2014, and previously served in the Washington State Congress.
Murray was forced to rule out a re-election bid in April this year, after a lawsuit was filed by a man who claims Murray “raped and molested him” when he was a teenager.
The lawmaker had always maintained that the allegations were false and politically motivated in order to force his resignation, and this week the lawsuit was withdrawn.
A Superior Court judge in King County granted a voluntary dismissal order sought by the plaintiff, Delvonn Heckard.
Mr Heckard insists he is standing by his allegations and claimed the lawsuit will eventually be re-filed, but Murray told a press conference that the order has “vindicated” him.
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Speaking to the press alongside his husband Michael, Mr Murray said: “I believe the withdrawal of this lawsuit vindicates me.
““This political effort to end my public career may have looked like it succeeded, but today I can say to those who were behind this, you were not successful.
“I will continue to be the mayor of this city. I will continue to lead the progressive agenda of equity and prosperity and social justice that we’ve made the heart of it.”
His term finishes at the end of the year.
Murray also hit out at the lawyer behind the case, branding him a “publicity hungry lawyer with special connections with certain members of the press”.
Although Murray ended his re-election bid, the Seattle Times reports that the dismissal of the case could see him run as a write-in candidate.