Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced his resignation on Tuesday—mere hours after yet another sex abuse allegation was lodged against him, as reported by The Seattle Times.
CNN reports that Murray, 60, stepped down after his cousin accused him of sexual abuse in an interview with a local newspaper.
“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,” he said in a statement. “To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation.”
Murray’s younger cousin, Joseph Dyer, 54, told The Seattle Times that he was 13 when Murray repeatedly molested him for a year while they lived together in Dyer’s mother’s home. Dyer claimed he would try to avoid being molested by pretending to sleep—which didn’t stop Murray from abusing him.
Dyer said he decided to come forward to reach closure. He has also signed a declaration for Lincoln Beauregard, a lawyer representing Delvonn Heckard, another accuser.
“Because I saw…clips of [Murray] denying what he did, that pissed me off to the point where I am like, ‘That’s it. I have had enough,'” he said. “I have been carrying this around for 40-some years. Something has got to be done.”
Heckard said he was 15 when Murray, then 32, paid him for sex. Heckard withdrew his lawsuit in June to focus on counseling, according to his lawyer.
The embattled mayor denied Dyer’s accusations, saying that fighting between the two families has led to the latest round of allegations.
“I did not sexually abuse any of her [Maryellen Sottile’s] children,” Murray said. “There’s a larger backstory between the Murrays and the Sottiles…”
Murray has served as Seattle’s mayor since 2014. With his resignation taking effect at 5 p.m. Wednesday, CNN reported that Council President Bruce Harrell will take over as mayor. Harrell will have five days to decide whether he’ll stay in the position for the rest of Murray’s term, which ends in December.
“I feel victory, but saddened that it required another victim to come forward for him to resign,” another accuser, Lloyd Anderson, said in a statement. “I wonder how many other victims are out there.”
[Featured Image: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]