Seattle’s Democratic Mayor Ed Murray announced his resignation on Tuesday, hours after a fifth man accused him of child sex abuse.
Murray’s resignation came hours after his cousin, Joseph Dyer, gave an interview with the Seattle Times alleging sexual abuse dating from the 1970’s, claiming something “had to be done” about his reported crimes.
Over the last year, Murray has been subject to a string of accusations that he molested several young men in the 1980s. He initially denied the claims, but the accusations became so intense that Murray announced in May he would not run for re-election.
“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,” Murray said in a statement.
During his time in office, Murray promoted a number of progressive causes, including defending Seattle’s sanctuary city status, launching a campaign to push the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, fighting for same-sex marriage, and vociferously opposing President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
“I’m proud of all that I have accomplished over my 19 years in the Legislature, where I was able to pass what were at the time the largest transportation packages in state history, a landmark gay civil rights bill and a historic marriage equality bill,” Murray said.
“But it has also become clear to me that in light of the latest news reports it is best for the city if I step aside,” he continued. “To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation.”
Seattle Council President Bruce Harrell will become mayor upon Murray’s resignation, Murray said. Harrell now has five days to decide whether he will see out the remainder of Murray’s term, which ends in December.