A Portland man who says he was abused as a teenager living in Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's home as a foster child says he is grateful that the mayor is finally stepping down from public office.
"Thank you, Jesus," Jeffrey Simpson told WW's news partner KATU-TV on Tuesday. "You know, it's about time. These are prayers answered."
Some of the alleged abuse may have taken place in Portland in the 1980s. It was looked into by an Oregon child-welfare investigator who found that Murray had very likely sexually abused his foster son. The Multnomah County District Attorney decided not to prosecute the case only because the victim was emotionally unstable at the time—not for a lack of evidence.
Murray continues to maintain that he is innocent.
"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," Murray says in a statement announcing his resignation.
In the statement, Murray lists a number of accomplishments that he is "proud of" from his term as mayor.
"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," he says. "To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation."
Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell will take Murray's place as interim mayor and will have five days to decide whether or not to stay in the position for the remainder of Murray's term.