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Seattle faces damage claim over ex-mayor abuse allegations

In this June 14, 2017, file photo, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray takes a question at a news conference at City Hall, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
In this June 14, 2017, file photo, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray takes a question at a news conference at City Hall, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Associated Press

SEATTLE – The former foster son of ex-Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says the city negligently failed to investigate his and other men’s allegations that Murray sexually abused them decades ago.

The Seattle Times reports Jeff Simpson has filed a claim saying he intends to sue both the city and Murray. A jury would decide the amount Simpson should be compensated for damages and legal costs, but the claim said it could exceed $1 million.

Neither the Seattle city attorney’s office nor Murray’s private lawyer responded to requests for comment Wednesday.

Murray resigned in September after a fifth man – his cousin – publicly accused him of sexual abuse decades ago. He has repeatedly denied all of his accusers’ allegations.

Simpson, 50, of Gladstone, Oregon, said he decided to file the claim “to help me with closure and to vindicate my name.”

Simpson’s is the second claim filed against the city seeking monetary damages based on contentions that Murray defamed his accusers while publicly defending himself against their sex-abuse allegations. Delvonn Heckard, who died last week after an apparent overdose, sued Murray and the city last year and ultimately received a $150,000 settlement.

Simpson’s claim contends that Murray misled the public by claiming he and other accusers were part of a coordinated, anti-gay effort targeting him for his progressive politics. By citing Simpson’s criminal record, the claim says, Murray sought to undermine his credibility and “shame and silence Mr. Simpson and reduce him down (in the public eye) to a nothing.”

The claim says the city of Seattle’s support of Murray continued until the day he left office.

“The evidence will show that while Murray bemoaned the ‘political attack’ against him, behind the scenes he desperately politicked and used city resources to his fullest advantage to rally support from several City Council members and former mayors,” it said.

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