Lawyers defending Mayor Ed Murray against an alleged sex-abuse lawsuit say Murray should not be questioned on his birthday. They also say the accuser, not Murray, should face questions first.
Lawyers for Seattle Mayor Ed Murray have objected to Murray being formally questioned next week in a pending sexual-abuse lawsuit, and they want the Kent man accusing Murray to face questioning before the mayor does.
In a letter this week to attorneys representing Delvonn Heckard, Murray’s lawyers opposed a fast-approaching date to depose Murray that Heckard’s side proposed in a subpoena this month. The date, May 2, also marks Murray’s 62nd birthday.
“(W)e do not think deposing Mayor Murray on his birthday is appropriate,” Malaika M. Eaton says in the letter dated April 24.
The letter says Murray’s legal team first wants to question Heckard before making the mayor available for a deposition. Murray’s attorneys have provided Heckard’s lawyers with a first set of interrogatories — formal, written questions — and requested various records about Heckard’s drug use, criminal past and mental-health counseling as part of the discovery process.
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Among their questions, Murray’s lawyers want to know whether Heckard has accused anyone else of sexual abuse and whether he has communicated with two other men — Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson — who’ve also accused Murray of abuse and paying them for sex when they were teenagers in Portland in the 1980s. Heckard’s attorneys have 30 days to respond.
On Wednesday, Heckard reiterated to The Seattle Times that he doesn’t know either Simpson or Anderson, who are not part of his lawsuit. He also said he’s ready to answer questions and looks forward to seeing Murray deposed.
“I can’t wait for that day,” he said. “I just want to actually sit there and see him deny it — that he doesn’t actually know who I am and say that he’s never paid me for sex.”
Heckard, 46, a recovering crack-cocaine addict who now attends Seattle Central College, filed the lawsuit on April 6. It alleges Murray sexually abused Heckard over several years, beginning in 1986 when Heckard was a 15-year-old high-school dropout living on the streets.
The mayor has yet to formally respond to the suit in court, but denies knowing Heckard and has refuted the allegations.
Murray has ascribed Heckard’s accusations and those made by the other men to an anti-gay political conspiracy.
Heckard, who is gay, said he’s angered by Murray’s denials and called Murray’s claims that his accusations are politically motivated “stupid.”
Earlier this week, Murray’s lawyers filed a motion seeking sanctions against Lincoln Beauregard, Heckard’s lead attorney. They contend Beauregard repeatedly has filed documents improperly, putting into the court record papers containing false innuendo about Murray and others, or personal attacks on them.
Beauregard formally responded Friday, calling the motion “frivolous.” He contends Murray’s lawyers have intentionally ignored letters and notices sent to them “to slow the litigation in light of the impending Mayoral candidate-filing deadline of May 19, 2017.” In turn, Beauregard said he has felt it necessary to file documents publicly and to keep a proper record in the case.
A hearing on the sanctions motion is set for May 3.