Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced his resignation Tuesday, hours after new sexual abuse allegations surfaced against the embattled politician.
The mayor’s announcement comes after his cousin gave an interview with the Seattle Times alleging abuse, the latest in a series of allegations against the mayor. The cousin is the fifth person to accuse Murray of child sexual abuse.
Murray denied the allegations, as he has in the past. He said he was resigning effective 5 p.m. Wednesday so the scandal would no longer overshadow his office. In light of the latest allegations, he said it was clear it is best for the city for him to step aside.
“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,” he said in a statement.
“To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation.”
Council President Bruce Harrell will become mayor upon Murray’s resignation, Murray said. Harrell has five days to decide to hold the position for the remainder of Murray’s term, which ends in December.
Murray was elected in 2014 after 18 years as a state lawmaker. He withdrew in May from the Seattle mayor’s race, saying the campaign should be focused on issues, not scandal.