BULLETIN: Mayor Ed Murray resigns after more abuse accusations, saying ‘it is best for the city if I step aside’

1:22 PM: Just in via e-mail:

Today, Mayor Murray released the following statement:

“I am announcing my resignation as mayor, effective at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

“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.

“I’m proud of all that I have accomplished over my 19 years in the Legislature, where I was able to pass what were at the time the largest transportation packages in state history, a landmark gay civil rights bill and a historic marriage equality bill.

“And I am proud of what we have accomplished together at the City during my time as mayor, passing a nation-leading $15 minimum wage, and major progressive housing affordability and police accountability legislation, as well as negotiating an agreement to build a world-class arena that I believe in time will bring the NHL and NBA to Seattle.

“But it has also become clear to me that in light of the latest news reports it is best for the city if I step aside.

“To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation.

“In the interest of an orderly transition of power, Council President Bruce Harrell will become Mayor upon my resignation, and will decide within the following five days whether he will fill out the remainder of my term. During this time Director of Operations Fred Podesta has been tasked with leading the transition.”

The announcement was made hours after The Seattle Times reported new accusations of sexual abuse by Murray, this time from a cousin.

Four months ago, Murray gathered supporters at the Alki Bathhouse – noting that it was near his boyhood home in West Seattle – to announce that he would not run for re-election, but until today, he had continued to insist that he would finish out his term.

1:54 PM: As noted in the comment section, Council President Harrell circulated this memo a month ago, regarding succession if the mayor resigned. (Thanks to SCC Insight for making the memo easy to find.) It elaborates on what Murray’s statement mentions – that Harrell becomes acting mayor but can decide within five days whether he wants to keep that role until a new mayor is elected in November. If he declines it, the council would elect someone else from its ranks to serve as acting mayor, and then would have to fill that councilmember’s job.

2:41 PM: And if you’re still confused – a statement just e-mailed by City Attorney Pete Holmes says he’s helping to sort it out:

“As City Attorney, my number one priority is maintaining continuity of government operations for the people of the City of Seattle. My office is advising the City Council and the Mayor’s Office on next legal steps forward under the City Charter.”

3:54 PM: Council President Harrell isn’t saying yet whether he’ll keep the interim mayorship beyond a few days. In this statement, he says, “I intend to make an announcement within the five days on my intentions and will talk to my family, my colleagues on the Seattle City Council, and trusted members of our city on this decision with the understanding that the City and continuity of governance comes before all other factors.”

44 Replies to "BULLETIN: Mayor Ed Murray resigns after more abuse accusations, saying 'it is best for the city if I step aside'"

  • bolo September 12, 2017 (1:34 pm)

    So now who becomes council president? Do we get to elect another city councilmember?

    I just wish people were more honest. Everybody.

  • newnative September 12, 2017 (1:38 pm)

    Better late than never. 

  • Brewmeister September 12, 2017 (1:52 pm)

    About time.   He should have resigned months ago. 

  • Wsrez September 12, 2017 (2:15 pm)

    Good! Horrible accusations. The city is being poorly run anyway.

  • Steve September 12, 2017 (2:28 pm)

    So it took number five for him to do the right thing.  How did Seattle and the city government condone this person as mayor with the four accusers and a professional Oregon employee stating the same thing?

  • Mark September 12, 2017 (2:37 pm)

    About time, the accusations are serious.  What is surprising is how long they were under the radar.

    • West Seattle since 1979 September 12, 2017 (2:57 pm)

      Yes, if only this could have all come out 4 years ago before he was elected. 

  • Paul September 12, 2017 (2:55 pm)

    I find all of this strange because he has been in office for years.  And if they are accusations, that is not proof of guilt.  And it appears that the latest is from the 70’s, how did we go 40 years without any of this surfacing?  Its all strange to me.  

    Although I do not believe he did a good job as mayor, there are plenty of other departments that are worse off.  Lets just start with the roads……..

  • nachobeaver September 12, 2017 (3:16 pm)

    About Time!!

  • justme September 12, 2017 (3:23 pm)


    40 years? Some people go their whole lives without telling anyone. Proof of how much shame victims carry.

  • WS Guy September 12, 2017 (3:28 pm)

    Murray, its best for society if you step into a criminal investigation.  The dishonesty and corruption involved here stinks.  We should be diving into all his major policies to see how many of them have been backdoor deals and lies.

    • CMT September 12, 2017 (4:11 pm)

      Completely agree.

  • Kelly September 12, 2017 (3:33 pm)

    Ah, thank you to the haters. We get to spend more money on the interim idiot.

    Do what you can to help your fellow man or be taxed to death.

    • Mikekey September 12, 2017 (5:06 pm)

      WTF does this mean?  Why would we be spending more money on the interim PERSON (using idiot makes YOU sound like a hater).

    • flimflam September 12, 2017 (5:20 pm)

      what does this even mean? you’d have a sex offender remain as mayor of the city?

    • Katie September 13, 2017 (12:31 pm)

      Why “more money”?  Wouldn’t it cost the same?  You’re not adding anyone to the payroll. 

    • Jason September 13, 2017 (1:48 pm)

      Someone currently on the council will serve for a few months until Dec 7th when the general election is certified and either Durkan or Moon will be sworn in as the new mayor.  No new money but one less sex offender.  Sounds like a good deal to me!

  • Seattlite September 12, 2017 (4:42 pm)

    Murray should have never been elected.  He is a failed mayor who has set Seattle back in so many ways…look at his policies.  Look at the unresolved homeless problems.  Look at the heroin problems.  He used his pattern of deceitfulness to run Seattle…makes my stomach sick. 

  • wetone September 12, 2017 (5:07 pm)

    Seattle has become a very sad ugly place over the last couple years. We have a large part of  Wa. democratic party and large liberal population that has done everything they can to protect Murray, even though his history has been long known. Much of the city council should resign also as they gave little faith if any towards the people involved. Only to protect themselves. If Murray had same accusations involving  girls he would of been gone long ago. Hope accusers sue him for everything he owns along with suing City of Seattle for letting him use city time and property to flat out deny and call accusers liars. Murray is a sick human needing jail time rest of his life.  Bruce Harrell, Jenny Durkin and Dow Constantine had no issues with Murray lets see how they backtrack now. These are the type of people that should not be involved in politics  ……….

    • Brewmeister September 12, 2017 (5:54 pm)


    • Seattlite September 12, 2017 (6:08 pm)

      Excellent comment WETONE…I’m thinking that Seattle needs to clean Seattle’s swamp.  But, who will take on that job?  It won’t be the the current council members.  Seattle really needs a leader that will not line his/her pockets in deciding policy for Seattle/KingCounty citizens.  Voters please do your research before voting.  It would be a miracle if Seattle could vote in some moderates who have the voters best  interests at heart.  Then Seattle would have a chance to dig out of its downward spiral.

    • gh September 12, 2017 (6:23 pm)

      So true!

  • japers September 12, 2017 (5:15 pm)

    maybe this might derail some of this HALA nonsense??

  • fiz September 12, 2017 (5:41 pm)


  • jissy September 12, 2017 (5:57 pm)

    Oh Happy Day!!!  

  • Villagegreen September 12, 2017 (6:18 pm)

    You guys are funny. Although I agree he should have resigned a long time ago, you do understand Jenny Durkan will in all probability be our next mayor. She is a political insider who mirrors almost all of Murray’s policies. It’s not like anything is going to change. We’re just exchanging one pro development faux liberal for another. I’ll be voting Cary Moon. 

    • Canton September 12, 2017 (7:08 pm)

      You are absolutely right. Look at all the same campaign contributions, switch sides to Durkan. The money people want to keep status quo,  they are making their money, want all aspects to stay the same. Of course the majority votes this way, they are gaining prosperity, why would they vote any different than status quo…. Durkan…

      • CandrewB September 13, 2017 (5:26 am)

        So once again caught between the money people and the crazy people… Kind of like Herbold vs Braddock but this time city-wide. 

        Whoever takes the interim mayor job has to resign from the council. No one will be willing to do this for a three month job so we can assume Burgess will be our interim mayor since he is not running for reelection.

        • Canton September 13, 2017 (6:10 am)

          Bruce Harrell takes over in his absence.

  • momosmom September 12, 2017 (6:40 pm)

    I feel for Murray’s husband…to hear all of these accusations and wondering in the back of his mind if they are real or not. Sad, so sad.

  • john kamin September 12, 2017 (6:49 pm)


    I agree about the HALA giveaway to developers!  Not sure how this might change this mess!  Faux liberals for sure!  What a sellout to big developers…

  • TJ September 12, 2017 (7:07 pm)

    Villagegreen is spot on. Durkan looks to be the next mayor, and she is a spinoff of Murray. Let’s be honest, probably worse. That is the trend here. Nichols was bad. McSchwinn was worse. Murray has been awful. He makes the liberal mayors of past, like Norm Rice, look like a conservative. And while I am not liberal, most of my friends are and echo what I say. People need to use their heads, and not assume that they can’t keep getting worse. And I don’t know if Moon is any better. We have been inundated by social crusaders instead of people who know how to do the actual core functions of government. 

  • Seattlite September 12, 2017 (7:34 pm)

    Well stated TJ.  Voting is not an issue when all of the candidates are of the same ideology.  Lots of non-liberals don’t vote because there’s no diversity in the candidates’ policies, just more of the same.  Seattle is suffering from the lack of diverse thinking in making policy. 

  • PW September 12, 2017 (8:36 pm)

    Whether we agree with Mayor Ed or not, which I think he was a horrible leader, and sadly noting his career is over, this is a huge wake up call Seattle.’

    Get is right and really the 2 candidates in the mayor pipeline are not them.


  • Hoku September 12, 2017 (8:49 pm)

    Thank you AGAIN for being the “go to” information source! A friend asked a million questions about this news tonight. Of course all of the questions that had answers were answered by the WSB.

  • Theodore W. September 12, 2017 (10:24 pm)

    Took long enough. Murray was a pox upon Seattle and probably did irreparable damage.

  • Pete September 13, 2017 (6:28 am)

    So remember there are two council members that could become mayor if Harrell chooses not to. Burgess for one since he is not running for another term. But West Seattle’s own Lorena González could resign her seat and become mayor. Since she IS running for reelection she could step back in to being a city council member if she wins her at large election. 

  • CMT September 13, 2017 (11:34 am)

    Yes, Ms. Gonzales, the Mayor’s hand-picked councilmember/understudy could do that.  The fact that she lives in West Seattle would normally be a positive to residents except that she has shown no interest in even showing up to City-sponsored events in West Seattle relating to the massive changes being proposed.  I shudder to think of her as mayor and I hope she gets voted out of her council position ASAP.

  • jissy September 13, 2017 (10:42 pm)

    Sheesh, SO glad (yet truly sad) to be moving out of WS after 45 YEARS!!!!  Mayor Murray’s leadership was indeed a factor, so misguided, penalizing productive members of society….. 

    I hope to move back someday??  But not holding my breath-has literally been traumatizing to our household but feel SO convicted that a message must be sent.  

  • jissy September 13, 2017 (10:48 pm)

    And Momosmom, I think he knew EXACTLY who he married and rolled the dice that it might not ever come out….. just my opinion though…..

Sorry, comment time is over.