Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced his resignation Tuesday after a fifth man came forward and accused him of repeated sexual abuse in the 1970s. It followed months of increasing pressure for the mayor to step down.
Joseph Dyer, a younger cousin of Murray, told the Seattle Times that he had been repeatedly molested when Murray was in his early 20s and lived with the family in New York. “I have been carrying this around for 40-some years. Something has got to be done,” he said.
Murray, 62, denied the latest allegation but said he would resign at 5 p.m. PT on Wednesday.
“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,” the mayor said in a statement, adding that he was proud of his accomplishments during the 19 years he served in the city’s Legislature.
“To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation,” Murray added. He said Council President Bruce Harrell would take over as mayor and will decide within 5 days whether he will serve out the remainder of his term, which expires on January 1.
The first allegation emerged in April when a 46-year-old man filed a lawsuit against Murray, claiming that the mayor repeatedly paid him for sex when he was just 15 years old and addicted to crack cocaine. It prompted several others to also accuse Murray of sexual abuse, forcing him to drop his bid for re-election.
Dyer said he recently became aware of the allegations and was angered by Murray’s repeated denials. “I saw .. clips of [him] denying what he did, that pissed me off to the point where I am like, ‘That’s it. I have had enough,'” he said, as quoted by the Seattle Times.
Dyer said he was 13 years old when Murray forced him to have oral sex while they shared a bedroom in Dyer’s mother’s home on Long Island. “There would be times when I would fake sleeping because I didn’t want him touching me,” he said, adding that the abuse went on for about a year.
Murray acknowledged that he had lived with Dyer’s family but claimed a family dispute had been causing trouble for years.
“There’s been numerous fights between our two families for many years, and much ugliness,” Murray told the Seattle Times in an interview about the allegation. “I guess they see me down and out, and they want to finish me off.”
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