By Laura Brindley
The mayor’s resignation comes at the feet of a fifth child sex-abuse scandal made public today. Murray’s cousin, Joseph Dyer, is the fifth person to come forward and accuse the mayor of child sex-abuse. Dyer accused Murray of sexually abusing him when he was 13 years old and living in New York. Though one accusation with copious evidence should have been enough to convince the mayor to resign, it was the fifth recorded accusation that apparently did him in -- an incest case at that! Like the other sex-abuse cases brought to light over the last year, Murray adamantly denied this accusation. Murray claimed that there are tensions between his immediate family and Dyer’s family, which led to his cousin accusing him of sexual abuse.
Be that as it may, five child sex-abuse allegations is more than enough to warrant a resignation from a public office position, as Murray has finally done.
Both candidates hoping to replace Murray as Seattle Mayor at the end of the year have both spoken out in favor of his resignation. Cary Moon spoke out against Mayor Murray remaining in office until the end of his term several months ago, while Jenny Durkan only spoke out against Mayor Murray staying in office as soon as news of the fifth allegation went public.
Why should Washingtonians who do not live in Seattle or even Western Washington care about this?
Murray’s decision to resign as mayor reinforces the idea that no one is above the law, even the lawmakers. Additionally, no single accusation of something as horrific as child sex-abuse should be taken lightly, especially if the perpetrator is someone influential in a community – such as a mayor. Seattle is not the only city whose city government has experienced scandal, so lawmakers in communities around the state or in Olympia cannot interpret their positions of power as immunity to the public scrutiny that comes with something such as sexual abuse allegations.
We can only hope that if a public official in our state is accused of such disgusting actions again that they will be pressured to resign and are investigated long before the fifth allegation. Come on, Washington. We are better than that!