The Seattle LGBTQ Commission issued a statement on Monday condemning Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and calling on him to retire before his term ends at the end of the year.
The letter’s demand is “due to allegations and mounting evidence that you have repeatedly engaged in sexual abuse of minors,” according to the Seattle Times. Murray was accused of sexually assaulting his foster son, as well as three other teen boys ranging from 13- to 15-years-old, in the 1980s. A Kent man, Delvonn Heckard, filed a lawsuit against Murray alleging sexual assault to back up the accusations, but later withdrew the lawsuit. Heckard promising to refile it when Murray left office.
The LGBTQ Commission’s letter said Murray’s response to the accusations, including citing the accusers’ criminal records, has been “harmful and inappropriate, particularly to LGBTQ individuals, survivors of sexual assault and individuals with criminal history.”
“Noting both that you are the first openly gay Mayor of Seattle, and that many individuals on the Seattle LGBTQ Commission were appointed by you, we do not take our decision to call for your resignation lightly,” the LGBTQ Commission letter read.
Murray said he has no intention of resigning, but in May he dropped a bid for re-election due to the accusations.
Records unearthed by the Seattle Times revealed that in 1984, Oregon Child Protective Services wrote an assessment report on Murray that found accusations of sexual assault from his former foster child, Jeff Simpson, to be credible. Simpson, along with three other boys, said Murray pressured the teen boys into sexual acts and paid them for it.
However, in April 2017 the OCPS located the file, bearing a label that read “Do not purge this file see abuse summary.” OCPS determined in the report that Murray would no longer be an acceptable candidate for foster parenting. No criminal charges were filed with the report, according to Fox News.
The records detailing Murray’s former foster’s accusations were originally thought to have been destroyed.
Murray dismissed the accusations as politically motivated. However, the LGBTQ Commissioner’s letter dismissed the claim and instead asserted their stance of believing accusers.
Former Mayor Mike McGinn has called for Murray to step down, as has current mayoral candidate Jessyn Ferrell. However, four other mayors – Wes Uhlman, Charles Royer, Norm Rice and Greg Nickels – issued a joint statement expressing support for Murray and calling to allow him to serve out the remainder of his term.
“A transition merely months before electing a new mayor would be messy and time consuming, and would present serious challenges to the day-to-day operations of the city,” the letter reads.
[Featured Image by Karen Ducey/Getty Images]