With a fifth man accusing Ed Murray of sexually abusing him, the mayor of Seattle has resigned. It was time: Allegations from Murray’s past were getting in the way of Seattle’s present and future.
MAYOR Ed Murray did the right thing resigning Tuesday. Allegations from his past were getting in the way of Seattle’s present and its future.
He denied the latest accusation — that he sexually abused a young relative more than 40 years ago — but said “it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our city government to conduct the public’s business.”
For the city’s sake, there was no other choice. Four other men had accused the mayor of sexually molesting them years ago. Much to the chagrin of victim advocates, Murray unfairly used the drug use and arrests in those accusers’ backgrounds to attack their credibility.
The latest accusation comes from Murray’s younger cousin, a dialysis technician and Air Force veteran. He was alerted by a family member to the work of Seattle Times reporters Lewis Kamb and Jim Brunner, who doggedly investigated the accusations for months.
Joseph Dyer, 54, said he was 13 when Murray forced him into sex when the two shared a bedroom at Dyer’s mother’s home in Medford, New York, in the mid-1970s.
Murray, 62, dismissed Dyer’s accusation as the result of a rift in the family. Murray dismissed the previous four accusations, alleging they were part of a political takedown effort because of his progressive politics and record as a gay-rights champion. Nonsense.
On Tuesday, Murray was a no-show at a news conference to introduce a deal that promises a major makeover of the Seattle Center’s 55-year-old KeyArena that could lead to a return of an NBA team and a new NHL franchise. He also was supposed to welcome state, national and international officials attending the two-day Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference but skipped it.
The city deserves better.
Murray said in his statement that Council President Bruce Harrell would become acting mayor. Harrell now has five days to decide whether to serve in that capacity until the upcoming election results are certified on Nov. 28. Two candidates — Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon — are campaigning to succeed Murray in the Nov. 7 election.
The mayor’s resignation may mean some unsteadiness in the next couple months, but the city will be better off without a disgraced, distracted leader.
Information in this article, originally published Sept. 13, 2017 was corrected Sept. 14, 2017. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the city’s acting mayor would serve out the remainder of Mayor Ed Murray’s term. Because Murray resigned, the next mayor will take office once the upcoming election results are certified, on Nov. 28.