Wednesday 22 November 2017

Irish-American mayor who denies 'paying teenage boys for sex' ends political career

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray Photo: Reuters/David Ryder/File Photo
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray Photo: Reuters/David Ryder/File Photo
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

An Irish-American mayor being sued by a man who claims he was paid to have sex with him when he was 15-years-old has announced he is ending his political career.

Mayor of Seattle Ed Murray (62) denied the allegations and said the lawsuit tried to "paint me in the worst possible historic portraits of a gay man."

After the first allegation emerged, three other men came forward and claimed they were sexually abused by Murray as teenagers.

Delvonn Heckard claims he was paid to have sex over a four to five year period, starting when he was 15 and addicted to cocaine back in the 1980s.

On Tuesday Murray announced that he would not be seeking a second term as mayor and said the allegations had "broken his heart".

Murray wore a green tie to the speech and spoke about his upbringing, his Irish heritage and his mother knocking on doors for President John Kennedy.

In his speech, he concluded with a quote from former New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "To be Irish is to know that in the end the world will break your heart."

"Since I was 12 years old, politics has been my life and my dream. I lay on the grass of this beach, reading children’s books about FDR and JFK," he said, adding, “From that came my career. And I have the best job in politics — mayor of the city of Seattle."

One of the most shocking parts of Heckard's claim included a description of Murray's genitals as having an "unusual bump".

Murray's legal team then asked for the case to be dismissed following a medical exam by his doctor who found he had no distinctive mole or bump on his genitals.

"This is game-changing. This is the heart of the allegations, and they’re false," his lawyer told the Seattle Times.

"He has absolutely no credibility and the case should be dropped. And I ask his lawyers – now that they know – to drop the complaint."

Murray lived in Ireland for a short time and has family in Tipperary, Limerick and Down.

He had originally planned on joining the priesthood before going to college to study sociology.

In his later years, he came out as gay and has campaigned for gay and lesbian rights.

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