Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced his resignation Tuesday, hours after a fifth man publicly accused him of child molestation.
“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,” Murray’s resignation statement reads.
Murray’s cousin, Joseph Dyer, said Murray repeatedly molested him when he was 13 and Murray was in his early twenties. The abuse allegedly occurred when the pair shared a bedroom in Dyer’s childhood home in the 1970s, Dyer explained in an interview with the Seattle Times, published Tuesday morning.
“There would be times when I would fake sleeping because I didn’t want him touching me,” Dyer told The Seattle Times.
“And that’s when he would molest me. And my mother would be right there in the house, she’d be in the living room … watching TV, at that time it was probably “M*A*S*H.” And my sisters would be in their rooms, sleeping. And I would be in my room, and he would be in there, molesting me.”
Murray denied Dyer’s accusation, attributing his claim to familial hostilities.
“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,” Murray told The Seattle Times.
Murray has been haunted by molestation allegations since his foster son, Jeff Simpson, accused him of sexual abuse in the 1970s. Records, obtained by the Seattle Times, indicate that an Oregon Child Protection Services investigator found the allegations to be credible, though Murray was never indicted due to a perceived lack of credibility on the part of his accuser. (RELATED: CPS Claims Seattle Mayor Sexually Abused His Foster Son 30 Years Ago)
Murray announced he would not pursue reelection earlier this year following the release of the Oregon CPS documents corroborating Simpson’s allegations but maintained he would complete his current term. Murray’s decision to forego resignation received the support of four former Mayors and the majority of the city council.
Dyer is the fifth man to accuse the Democratic mayor and former state legislator of sexual abuse. Murray has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, arguing the claims are the product of a malicious political vendetta.
City Council member Bruce Harrell will take over as Mayor and will decide within five days whether to serve the remainder of the term.
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