Mayor answers questions about child sex abuse allegations
Mayor Ed Murray is showing no signs of backing down from a lawsuit or backing out of running for re-election.
This week the mayor allowed his attorney to do most of his talking for him after a child sex abuse claim was filed against him.
But Friday, Murray came out swinging, first with a guest editorial in The Stranger, and then fielded questions about the case at a press conference for affordable housing.
As the mayor arrived it was unclear if he was aware an old ally would be showing her support.
“I have not been very vocal about some of the things I've been reading about,” Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said at the podium.
Once the target of a mayor's text message tirade, Bagshaw proved to be the first to stand by his side.
“I want you to know I have faith in this mayor,” she said. “I have faith in his vision. I have faith to make this city the best place it can be for all of us.”
Despite the salacious details in the civil complaint against him, Murray still seemed determined to make public appearances and carry out the city's business. And he went on the offensive in his guest editorial.
"I believe the motivation is political," he wrote. "This accusation, after all, is a hateful, homophobic stereotype brought to life."
Murray accused right wing organizations of leveling similar attacks against him during past key gay rights campaigns.
“Each time we moved on one of those issues, they started calling you making these allegations, including ones that had been investigated by law enforcement and a decision was made not to prosecute,” he told a reporter.
Murray also attacked the credibility of his accusers who have histories of drug abuse. At least one, Jeff Simpson admitted openly he's been convicted of numerous crimes.
"His criminal history proves he cannot be trusted," wrote Murray.
Attorney Mike Pfau, who has won numerous sex abuse cases, said while the criminal background may sway the public, it may not sway the jury.
“When the jurors look at that, the jurors will look at the story themselves,” Pfau said. “How credible is the story? Are the stories similar? Can the stories be supported by other facts?”
Pfau talked about some of the details included in the civil complaint regarding the mayor's anatomy. He said detailed facts can be very powerful, as long as you can back them up.
But he also said this was just one fact out of many. And it is just the first week in a case that could last two years.