Facing allegations, Mayor Ed Murray keeping business-as-usual attitude

Mayor Ed Murray welcomed more than 60 new U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony in Seattle on Monday, April 10, 2017, but declined to answer any questions about the sexual abuse allegations brought against him last week. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE - Standing before more than 60 new U.S. citizens at the downtown Seattle library Monday, Mayor Ed Murray talked with pride about his own humble background.

“Your story is the story of my family, my grandparents immigrated to this country from Ireland,” Murray said. “Your story is the story about how America works, how we build our businesses, how we create community, how we defend freedom.”

The Mayor shook the hand and posed for photos with each new citizen before running off to a busy afternoon that included the Mariners first home game of the season. Though faced with television cameras and a print photographer at the ceremony, Murray declined to take any questions from the media about the recent civil litigation filed against him.

In the hours after allegations surfaced Thursday, Murray’s lawyer and his privately-hired spokesman denied any wrongdoing. On Friday, the Mayor, with his husband by his side, denied the allegations.

“To be on the receiving end of such untrue allegations is very painful for me, painful for my husband and those who are close to us,” Murray said during a brief appearance on Friday.

Murray called the 46-year-old man who filed the complaint for damages “troubled.”

In the King County Superior Court filing, the man said he met the Mayor when he was 15 and Murray was in his 30s. He said Murray paid him anywhere from $10 to $20 for sex, according to the filing.

Lincoln Beauregard, the attorney representing the alleged victim, filed a subpoena Monday seeking to depose Murray’s privately-hired spokesman, Jeff Reading. Beauregard said he would like to depose Murray soon as well.

In the meantime, the Seattle City Council is remaining above the fray.

“My Council colleagues and I have no intention of commenting on matters of pending or potential litigation,” Councilmember Bruce Harrell said in a statement released Monday.

“Our city cannot afford to be distracted. There is a judicial process that will address the serious allegations that this situation has presented, and we will respect that process and the rights of all parties involved,” the statement said.

Nick Licata, who was on the Seattle City Council for 18 years, told KOMO Monday that the council is facing some important issues and doesn’t have time to get involved.

“Obviously, like everyone else I was shocked by these accusations,” Licata said.

Licata, who has known the Mayor for years, said he has had friends ask him over the last few days if he’d consider running for Mayor - Licata, who is busy traveling, became a first-time grandparent and is writing books, said he doesn’t plan to run.

Tina Podlodowski, chair of the state Democratic party put out a statement Monday night to say that she also has no intention of running against Murray.

“There will be people who, I think, will be attracted to running for Mayor. The incumbent [Murray] will have a very heavy burden,” Licata said.

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