Members of the Seattle City Council won’t comment on allegations that surfaced last week that Mayor Ed Murray engaged in child sexual abuse decades ago, Council President Bruce Harrell said.

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Members of the Seattle City Council are staying silent about allegations that Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused teens in the 1980s.

Council President Bruce Harrell issued a written statement Monday saying he and the council’s other members “have no intention of commenting on matters of pending or potential litigation. We believe that it is critically important that, together, we remain committed to the business of governing.”

Harrell read the statement aloud during a Monday morning briefing. He and other council members moved on to normal business without discussing the claims.

A 46-year-old Kent man sued the mayor last week, claiming that Murray raped and molested him when the man was a teenager.

Ed Murray investigation

The mayor has denied the allegations in the lawsuit and similar claims by two other men who say they knew Murray when they were growing up in Portland in the 1980s.

“All city employees and city departments are focused on our core responsibilities of customer service, affordable housing, homelessness, public safety, transportation, education, and ensuring equality for all in a great, but rapidly growing city,” Harrell said.

“The work before us is too critical for the future of Seattle and its residents. We intend to continue working with unwavering dedication to serving the people who put their faith in us,” he added.

If Murray were to resign, Harrell would be called upon to serve as acting mayor. If Harrell declined, the council would select another member for the position.

The statement went on: “Our city cannot afford to be distracted. There is a judicial process that will address the serious allegations that this situation has presented, and we will respect that process and the rights of all parties involved. All accusations of abuse require a thorough investigation. It is in our human nature to immediately want answers, but I ask we not cast aspersions to the parties involved before we have all the facts through the legal process. I am confident that through this process, truth and justice will prevail.”

The mayor made public appearances Monday. He spoke at a ceremony for new American citizens and attended the Mariners home opener.