Gay Seattle Mayor Ed Murray steps down after denying second allegation that he molested a minor
The out gay mayor of Seattle Ed Murray has said he will step down on Wednesday after a second allegation of molesting a minor, which he denies.
He released a statement denying the latest allegation, and saying he would step down as of Wednesday.
Murray previously said he would not seek re-election after the first allegation, the lawsuit for which was withdrawn as he said he had been “vindicated” after the accusations.
On Tuesday, he released a statement saying: “I am announcing my resignation as mayor, effective at 5pm 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 am 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.” Out DemocratMurray has served as the Mayor of Seattle since 2014, and previously served in the Washington State Congress.
Out Democrat 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 earlier this year granted a voluntary dismissal order sought by the plaintiff, Delvonn Heckard of the first allegation.
Mr Heckard insists he is standing by his allegations and claimed the lawsuit would eventually be re-filed, but Murray told a press conference that the order has “vindicated” him.
Speaking to the press alongside his husband Michael, Mr Murray said: “I believe the withdrawal of this lawsuit vindicates me.
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“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 this 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.