Seattle councilmember Sawant comments on Murray sex scandal

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant
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Despite a declaration that the Seattle City Council would not be commenting on Mayor Ed Murray's sex scandal, city council member Kshama Sawant is doing just that.

Council President Bruce Harrell issued a statement Monday saying, "My Council colleagues and I have no intention of commenting on matters of pending or potential litigation."

That lasted for about 48 hours.

"I just wanted to clarify that the statement that Council President Harrell sent was not done with consultation with me," Sawant said. "I was not aware that statement was going to go across. Council President Harrell does not speak for me."

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Sawant issued a written statement Wednesday morning. It came the day after Murray's personal attorney said the man who filed a child sex abuse claim against him, dating back to the 1980s, was lying. Attorney Bob Sulkin said a doctor's exam found "no mole or bump on his private anatomy as alleged by the accuser."

"The main message of my statement this morning, for me as a representative of the working members of the city of Seattle, is to declare my solidarity with all those sexual violence, domestic violence, rape survivors out there for whom the discussion of this case has brought back really sad memories of the process they went through," Sawant said. "I know this is a life-long healing process for many of us. I want them to know I'm on their side."

Sawant spoke with KING 5 and the Seattle Times Wednesday morning. Other council members had originally planned to join her but, for unknown reasons, changed their mind.

"I've talked to many council members. I would urge my colleagues to come forward and speak in support of sexual violence survivors," she said.

We asked her at what point does the lawsuit against the mayor become too big of a distraction.

"I think whether this issue is a distraction or not depends on how elected officials speak about it," Sawant said. "That's why it's important for me to speak in support of sexual violence survivors."

"My comments are in no way to tell the mayor what he should do," she said. "I'm doing what I think is right for me."

With the campaign filing deadline one month away, many are questioning whether the scandal has made Murray vulnerable in the upcoming election and whether others are considering jumping into the race.

"No, I'm not thinking of running for mayor," Sawant said.