The city of Seattle turned a blind eye to allegations of sexual abuse against former Mayor Ed Murray, according to a new claim for damages filed by Murray’s former foster son.
Jeff Simpson has accused Murray of raping him repeatedly when he was a teenager. Murray has denied that and last year mounted an aggressive public campaign to counter such claims by Simpson and three other men who accused him of sexual abuse.
That campaign is a key part of the new claim that Simpson filed Wednesday against the city, seeking $1 million in damages.
The claim says the city never attempted to investigate the accusations and allowed Murray to use his position to disparage accusers.
The claim also says that city employees and other city leaders, including members of the City Council, aided Murray’s public relations campaign.
“It’s clear that the city of Seattle had no issue with devoting city resources and time to defending Mr. Murray and, thereby, funding his defamation campaign,” the claim says.
A claim for damages is the first step in filing a lawsuit against the city. Simpson's claim says he intends to sue the city and Murray.
The city of Seattle’s claims department said it has received the claim but can’t comment at this time.
Murray's private lawyer did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The city has already settled one claim stemming from the accusations against Murray. It paid Delvonn Heckard $150,000 in a settlement last December.
Heckard was found dead in a motel room last week.
The allegations forced Murray to resign in September.