SEATTLE — Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigned Tuesday, just hours after new allegations surfaced that he sexually abused a younger cousin decades ago in New York.
Murray, a former Democratic state legislator elected mayor in 2013, said in a statement he is resigning effective 5 p.m. today.
“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.
The Seattle Times reported Tuesday morning on the allegations by Murray’s cousin, Joseph Dyer, 54, who has become the fifth man to
publicly accuse Murray of sexual abuse.
Dyer says he was 13 when Murray forced him into sex when the two shared a bedroom at Dyer’s mother’s home in Medford, N.Y., in the mid-1970s.
Murray flatly denied the accusations, attributing them to bad blood between two estranged wings of the family.
Murray ended his re-election bid earlier this year because of the scandal, but had staved calls for his resignation before his term is completed this year.
He had retained support for finishing out his term from a majority of the City Council and four former mayors, as well as mayoral candidate Jenny Durkan.
But Durkan withdrew her
support in the wake of the new allegations.
“It is time for Mayor Murray to step down,” Durkan said in a statement Tuesday, noting that she had previously urged him “to reflect deeply” on whether he should remain in office.
“It’s clear that it is in everbody’s best interest for him to resign. As a parent, former public official and openly gay woman, these allegations are beyond sad and tragic; no official is above the law.”
Durkan’s rival in the mayor’s race, Cary Moon, already had called for Murray to step down months ago.