Several representatives from the Seattle City Council are furious over allegations their Mayor sexually abused a foster child in 1984, and are now calling for him to resign.
The council members are asking the Seattle Mayor to consider stepping down after a newly surfaced investigation reports state they believed Ed Murray abused a foster son in 1984.
One of Murray's former foster sons, Jeff Simpson, is just one of four men who have publicly accused him of sexually abusing them in the past. Murray adamantly denies the allegations, but he declined to seek re-election in the upcoming Mayoral race.
The new findings were reported Sunday after Oregon's Department of Human Services in April unearthed old records which were previously thought to have been destroyed at The Seattle Times' request. The agency initially withheld the majority of the documents, but it released them to news outlets earlier this month after it appealed, agreeing that transparency was in the public's interest to do so.
One councilwoman, Lorena González, released a statement on Monday that said she is “deeply concerned” about the mayor’s ability to continue to lead, and she asked him to consider stepping down from his position. A couple of Mayoral candidates are also sharing that same sentiment, calling on the Mayor to resign from his post.
Murray then released a statement late Monday afternoon, saying that he is not leaving office.
“Since the day several months ago when sexual abuse allegations surfaced against me in the media, I have been clear that those allegations are false. They remain just as false today as they were back then.”
“But I also know that the allegations about events more than 30 years ago have created a cloud of uncertainty in the public mind. That is why in May I announced that I would not seek reelection to the job that I love, serving as mayor of Seattle. As I said at the time, it was a very difficult and painful decision for me, but upon reflection I felt that putting the best interests of the city first meant that I had to announce that I would step aside and allow someone else to take leadership of City government at the end of my term.”
“Guiding my decisions is my continued focus on what is in the best interest of the city. I know that today a member of the Council has issued a statement calling on me to resign, and warning of action against me if I do not. I continue to believe such a course of action would not be in the city’s best interest. That is why I am not going to resign, and intend to complete the few remaining months of my term as mayor.”
“My administration and I continue to govern the city effectively, and I am proud that we continue to deliver results that will improve the lives of the people of Seattle. Last week we announced the opening of an innovative, 75-bed Navigation Center to help house homeless people suffering on our streets. Today we are announcing an agreement to expand the use of body cameras by Seattle Police, so we can increase transparency and accountability and strengthen the bonds of trust between police and our communities. And we have many more important announcements coming over the next few months.”
“Seattle needs steady, focused leadership over the next several months. We have a lot of work to do. Establishing an effective transition between administrations takes months of careful planning and preparation – work that I and my team have already begun. We do not need the sort of abrupt and destabilizing transition that a resignation would create, likely bringing the City’s business to a grinding halt. Council action against me would similarly prevent the City’s business from continuing, only so I can again show these allegations from 30 years remain false.”
Below is a timeline on the sexual assault cases, which are the reasons Council Members are asking for the Mayor's resignation.
Early 1980s allegations:
Two other men who not involved in the recent lawsuits also accused Murray of abusing them in the 1980s and paying them for sex.
Alleged abuse between 1980 and 1982 by Lloyd Anderson said that he first met Murray at a Portland center for troubled youth, but that Anderson said he left the center and temporarily lived with a Portland area couple and then lived on the streets and did drugs.
He claims that the encounter between Murray and Anderson in 1981 and 1982 reunited them. Anderson said he went to Murray’s apartment in Portland, where he was paid for sex.
Alleged abuse around 1984 began when Jeff Simpson, now 49, lived at the Perry Center for Children in Portland, where Murray worked. He told the press that Murray was a father figure to him. Simpson said he met Murray at age 6, and then the abuse allegedly when he was 13.
“When I was 13, it wasn't just molesting; he raped me,” he said. “But it's something that for a while was happening daily.”
Simpson also said that Murray gave him money for sex, and he used the cash to fund his personal drug habit.
“I’ve been living with this all my life. I’ve been hiding this. I’ve been living with this shame, this guilt,” said Simpson, who claims he's “not part of an anti-gay crusade or seeking money”, but said he's just trying to find closure.
Simpson and Anderson have both brought up the allegations for decades. Simpson tried filing charges in 1984 and tried to bring a lawsuit against Murray in 2007 with Anderson's support, but his lawyer withdrew from the case after alleged pressures from the DNC.
The newly released documents In April show that an unauthenticated 1982 certificate that revealed a foster father relationship. Newly disclosed records revealed a Multnomah County prosecutor declined to pursue charges after the allegations were made were due to Simpson's troubled personality and not because the prosecution thought he was lying.
"It was Jeff's emotional instability, history of manipulative behavior and the fact that he has again run away and made himself unavailable that forced my decision," Deputy District Attorney Mary Tomlinson wrote.
She added, "We could not be sure of meeting the high burden of proof in a criminal case — of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty. However, this in no way means that the District Attorney's Office has decided Jeff's allegations are not true."
Officials records stated that the Oregon state closed Murray's home to foster care in April 1984.
The mayor’s spokesman, Jeff Reading, personally admitted to Simpson and Anderson’s accusations in a news conference on April 6, 2017.
“The two older accusations were promoted by extreme right-wing anti-gay activists in the midst of the marriage equality campaign, and were thoroughly investigated and dismissed by both law enforcement authorities and the media," Reading said.
Alleged abuse also occurred in 1986, when a 46-year-old Kent man also sued Murray at the time, claiming that while he was a homeless teen and string out drugs, Murray sexually abused him on numerous occasions in the 1980s.
The victim, Delvonn Hecker, and his lawyer claim that as a teen, Heckard met Murray on a bus in 1986. Murray propositioned Heckard for private visits to a Capitol Hill apartment and paid $10 to $20 for sexual acts that continued for an extended period of time, the lawsuit claims.
Heckard made very specific remarks in the complaint regarding the Mayor’s body and a mole on his private area to hopefully identify him.
A new eight paged lawsuit against Murray contains allegations that Heckard, who was 15 years old at the time of the sexual assault and legally unable to consent, saw another underage boy at the apartment on at least one occasion.
Attorneys for Heckard wrote in the complaint that speculation would lead people to believe that their client's actions are politically motivated. They claim that is "not exactly true," and that D.H. "believes that the public has a right to full information when a trusted official exploits a child," according to the lawsuit.
Heckard admits in the complaint that he was convicted of various charges related to drug use and prostitution due to his addictions and habits.
Attorney Lincoln Beauregard said his client, Heckard, decided to delay the case in June for a few months as he finishes counseling to cope with the stress of this all being unmasked.
In the initial lawsuit, Heckard claims that counseling partially prompted him to file the lawsuit because he experienced moments of reflection and awareness after his father’s death.
The mayor’s private attorney, however, Bob Sulkin, believes that any lawsuit should be dropped after Murray’s finalized examination at The PolyClinic showed no mole as specifically described in the complaint. In addition to an exam taken by the mayor on Tuesday, Sulkin also cited a 2015 normal exam that he said found no abnormalities.
A copy of that breaking exam shows Murray took a normal genitourinary exam that showed “no dermatologic lesions such as a mole, freckle or keratosis present" in the area.