As Dr. Eowyn reported back in April, Seattle mayor Ed Murray was accused of sexually molesting three teenage boys. This includes having sexually molested a 15-year-old boy in the 1980s. At the time, Murray would have been in his early 30s. From her blog post:
“Lewis Kamb and Jim Brunner report for Seattle Times that on April 6, 2017, a 46-year-old man with the initials D.H., a resident of Kent, Washington, filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court, claiming that Ed Murray had “raped and molested him” over several years, beginning in 1986 when the man was a 15-year-old crack-cocaine addicted high-school dropout. Murray gave the teen payments of $10 to $20.
In an interview with The Seattle Times, D. H. said, “I have been dealing with this for over 30 years,” and that he’s now coming forward as part of a “healing process” after years of “the shame, the embarrassment, the guilt, the humiliation that I put myself through and that he [Murray] put me through.”
Then, in early May, a fourth person accused Murray of sex abuse. From King5:
“A fourth accuser came forward claiming Seattle Mayor Ed Murray paid him for sex when he was a teenager.
In court documents filed Tuesday, Maurice Jones, 44, claimed he was introduced to Murray by Delvonn Heckard who also claimed he was abused as a teen by Murray. Heckard is the only person suing the mayor at this point. The declaration submitted to the court by Jones is in support of Heckard’s lawsuit.
Jones claimed in a written statement that Murray was known for patronizing child prostitutes at the time when Jones was a teen. Jones claimed he had also been in Murray’s Capitol Hill apartment at the same time Heckard has claimed abuse in the 1980s.”
Now the mayor is apparently ready to announce he will not seek re-election. And, his supporters are setting up a legal defense fund for him, anticipating that his defense of these allegations will cost him $1 million.
Sounds like the good mayor has got himself some serious legal issues.
From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will officially announce Tuesday that he will not seek re-election, sources tell KIRO Radio.
Murray currently faces allegations that decades ago he sexually abused four minors. He has vehemently denied the claims, but had not yet filed to seek a second term with the deadline to submit the paperwork one week away. Publicly, his campaign staff has said the one-term mayor is going to run. But privately, Murray and others have been gauging the erosion of the mayor’s popularity before deciding to make another bid. Sources tell KIRO Radio, however, that the mayor plans to formally announce that he will not seek re-election.
According to the latest report from Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission, Murray has more than $372,000 in campaign contributions. He has been fundraising since late 2016.
Murray’s expected announcement likely will trigger a slew of potential candidates stepping into the fray. Former Mayor Mike McGinn has already announced, as has urban planner Cary Moon and activist and poet Nikita Oliver. Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan likely will announce her candidacy within days and Seattle Democratic Sen. Bob Hasagawa has also expressed an interest, among other candidates.
Four men have accused Murray of sexually abusing them as minors. The latest, Maurice Jones claimed he was introduced to Murray by Delvonn Heckard, who has said he was abused by the mayor in the 1980s. Murray has said he has no idea who Delvonn Heckard is and maintains that the man’s name “is not familiar” to him.
As of May, an independent trust has been created to raise money for Murray’s legal defense, The Seattle Times reports. To make sure the fund will not run afoul of regulations, the Pacifica Law Group sent a letter to the city’s ethics and elections commission stating their intent.
We represent the Ed Murray Legal Defense Fund, an independent trust being created to help defray the legal expenses that the Mayor of Seattle, Edward B. Murray, must incur to defend himself in an ongoing civil lawsuit … the mayor, a lifelong public servant, does not have the personal resources needed to fund his own legal defense.
Heckard, 46, is described as an openly gay man with no real political inclinations, which contrasts with the mayor’s claims that the allegations are a part of a right-wing conspiracy because the mayor pushed the LGBTQ civil rights bill.
Jeff Simpson, another one of Murray’s accusers, has stressed that he is not asking for anything other than for the mayor to admit what he did. Murray told KIRO 7 that he was Simpson’s “legal guardian for just under two years.”
Simpson is one of two Portland men who have accused Mayor Murray of sexual abuse while they were minors in the 1980s.
Murray became the mayor of Seattle in January 2014 after 18 years as state legislator representing the 43rd Legislative District. He was the prime sponsor of the state’s marriage equality bill. As mayor, he signed an executive order raising the minimum wage of City employees to $15 an hour. Most recently, Murray proposed a soda tax and city income tax.
Murray lives in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood with his partner of 24 years, Michael Shiosaki.