A law firm hired by former Mayor Ed Murray claimed he failed to pay $12,455 in legal fees. Murray denied he owed that amount, and the firm’s lawsuit was settled last week for an undisclosed sum.
Former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has settled a lawsuit claiming he failed to pay legal bills owed to a law firm he hired last fall after being sued in a case related to the sexual-abuse scandal that ended his political career.
In a lawsuit filed July 27 in King County Superior Court, the Seattle law firm Betts Patterson & Mines contended Murray and his husband, Michael Shiosaki, had failed to pay $12,455 for legal work. The lawsuit sought that amount plus interest and legal costs.
The law firm had briefly been retained by Murray after he was sued by Delvonn Heckard, a Kent man who claimed he was raped and molested by Murray as a teenager in the 1980s.
Attorneys for Murray and Shiosaki disputed the claims by Betts Patterson & Mines, writing in an Aug. 3 court filing that any legal work performed by the firm occurred “prior to the formation of a formal attorney-client relationship” and was done “without Defendants’ authorization.”
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The two sides reached a settlement last week and the case was dismissed Friday. Terms were not disclosed.
“The parties have amicably resolved their differences and wish each other the best,” said Steve Fogg, an attorney for Murray.
Matthew Green, an attorney representing Betts Patterson & Mines, declined to comment.
The disputed fees were presumably a small fraction of the legal bills racked up by Murray — and the city of Seattle — in multiple lawsuits since the sexual-abuse claims surfaced last year.
Heckard initially had sued Murray in April 2017 but temporarily withdrew the case two months later. When Heckard’s attorneys refiled the lawsuit in October, they added the city of Seattle as a defendant, alleging Murray had used his official position to slander his accusers.
Betts Patterson & Mines never entered an official notice of appearance in Heckard’s refiled case, according to court records.
Murray settled on Fogg’s firm, Corr Cronin, to represent him in the lawsuit, which ended in December with Seattle paying a taxpayer-funded $150,000 settlement.
Heckard, who had been in treatment for long-standing drug-addiction problems, died in February from an accidental overdose of cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs.
Murray has steadfastly denied Heckard’s allegations, along with similar claims brought by four other men, including his former foster son, Jeff Simpson.
Murray called off his re-election bid last spring but insisted he’d serve out the remainder of his term.
A city campaign-finance disclosure report shows Murray recently closed out remnants of his mayoral re-election campaign, donating the final $826.03 left in his campaign account on Aug. 21 to the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center.