With a 240-word statement early last Tuesday afternoon, Ed Murray did what for months he had resisted, and officially announced his resignation, effective the following evening.
Though he reiterated his innocence, he wrote that, “it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public’s business.”
If that were true, the decision to resign shouldn’t have taken nearly as long.
Ever since the first allegations emerged against the now-former mayor in April, they’ve dominated the headlines day in and day out.
But, apparently, it wasn’t until last week that, “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.”
The reports he’s referring to was the emergence of a fifth accuser, this time a younger cousin of Murray, who claimed the mayor had forced him into sex when he was 13, when the two shared a bedroom at a home in New York in the mid-1970s.
As far as we’re concerned, it became best for the city for Murray to step aside back in July, after the Times published documents from a child-abuse investigation involving his foster son in Oregon in the 1980s.
Prior to that revelation, the allegations were concerning, but lacked any sort of paper trail or independent backing.
But with that additional information, which came after Murray had admonished the media for not doing enough research, it became abundantly clear that the accusations would cloud the remainder of his term even more so than before.
Are we supposed to believe that, prior to last Tuesday, the personal issues the now-ex-mayor was grappling with tin the public sphere did not affect the ability of his administration to effectively get things done?
The calls from several contenders for mayor in the weeks leading up to the primary — including Cary Moon — in addition to councilmembers Lorena Gonzalez and Kshama Sawant, and the Seattle LGBT Commission, for him to resign months before he ultimately did, would say otherwise.
In hindsight, we wonder what an interim mayor may have been able to accomplish with more time at the helm. There’s little doubt that the learning curve that an interim mayor would have faced would not have been the distraction that these accusations have.