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September 13, 2017

Ed Murray resigning today as Seattle mayor

  • Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell will become mayor.
  • Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said he will resign after a fifth man came forward and accused him of sexual abuse decades ago.

    Murray had already said earlier that he would not seek a second term as mayor.

    He said Tuesday that he would step down today at 5 p.m.

    City Council President Bruce Harrell will become mayor when Murray resigns, and take five days to decide whether he will fill the remainder of Murray's term, which runs until the end of the year. Director of Operations Fred Podesta will lead the transition.

    Four men had previously accused Murray of sexually abusing them. The Seattle Times reported Tuesday that a younger cousin of Murray made the latest allegation.

    Murray has denied all of the allegations. He said in a statement that “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.

    “To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation,” Murray said.

    News of the sexual-abuse accusation upstaged an announcement scheduled for Tuesday in which Murray was going to share details of a memorandum of understanding between the city and Oak View Group regarding the redevelopment of KeyArena. That announcement has not yet been rescheduled.

    Before being elected mayor in 2013 Murray was a long-time Democrat state lawmaker who led the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state. As mayor he pushed to raise the city's minimum hourly wage to $15.

    Murray said, “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.

    “And I am proud of what we have accomplished together at the city during my time as mayor, passing a nation-leading $15 minimum wage, and major progressive housing affordability and police accountability legislation, as well as negotiating an agreement to build a world-class arena that I believe in time will bring the NHL and NBA to Seattle.”

    This article includes material from The Associated Press.

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