SEATTLE, Wash. — The openly homosexual mayor of Seattle has resigned from office after a fifth man, a cousin, has accused him of past sexual abuse.
Despite his decision to step down, Mayor Ed Murray continues to deny any wrongdoing. He has asserted that the accusations are political and meant to target him as a homosexual.
“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,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Joseph Dyer, now 54, alleges that when he was 13, Murray physically forced himself on him as they shared a bedroom for a year at Dyer’s mother’s house.
But Murray says that no abuse ever occurred, and that the accusation is just part of a years-long familial fight.
“There’s been numerous fights between our two families for many years, and much ugliness. I guess they see me down and out, and they want to finish me off,” he told the Seattle Times.
As previously reported, earlier this year, concerns were also raised after Oregon Child Protective Services records from the 1980’s surfaced, showing that investigators had that concluded that Murray had abused foster son Jeff Simpson as a teen.
Simpson is now 49, and has unavailingly sought to sue Murray. Simpson met Murray while living at the Perry Center for Children, where Murray worked with youth.
“When I was 13, it wasn’t just molesting; he raped me,” he told local television station KIRO. “But it’s something that for a while was happening daily.”
The outlet obtained the documents following a public records request, and learned that Murray was never charged because the Multnomah County prosecutor’s office found Simpson to be emotionally unstable.
While caseworker Judy Butler concluded in 1984 that “Jeff Simpson has been sexually abused by … Edward Murray,” Deputy District Attorney Mary Tomlinson also noted that prosecutors “could not be sure of meeting the high burden of proof in a criminal case—of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty.”
“However, this in no way means that the District Attorney’s Office has decided Jeff’s allegations are not true,” she added.
Murray was prohibited from serving as a foster parent in the future.
When questioned about the matter in April, Murray’s spokesman, Jeff Reading, asserted that the the mayor was being targeted because he is homosexual. Murray “married” his partner, Michael Shiosaki, in 2013 at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle. The two had met 22 years ago.
“The two older accusations were promoted by extreme right-wing anti-gay activists in the midst of the marriage equality campaign, and were thoroughly investigated and dismissed by both law enforcement authorities and the media,” Reading stated.
Three other men—Lloyd Anderson, Delvonn Heckard and Maurice Levon Jones—have alleged that Murray paid them drug money for sex in the 1980’s. Heckard has filed a lawsuit over the matter.
Murray has resisted calls to resign for the past five months, but following the latest accusation, he said he felt it was for the best that he leave office.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished together at the City during my time as mayor … 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,” he remarked in a statement. “To the people of this special city and my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation.”
Simpson expressed relief after receiving word of the resignation.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was like, you know what? God is good,” he told the Seattle Times. “When you’re doing the right thing and don’t quit before the miracle, God takes care of stuff. It’s just on His time.”