Seattle Mayor Ed Murray was back to making public appearances Monday, just days after child sex abuse allegations surfaced in a civil lawsuit.
The nine-member city council seems to be willing to proceed with business as usual – at least for now.
Council president Bruce Harrell started Monday’s weekly briefing reading a written statement that they would not be commenting on the case.
“Our city cannot afford to be distracted,” Harrell said. “There is a judicial process that will address the serious allegations that this situation presented. We will respect that process and the rights of the parties involved.”
At the end of the briefing, a reporter asked council member Lisa Herbold how they could keep working with the mayor.
“Staying focused on the city's business, thank you,” Herbold said, as she left the council chambers.
Mayor Ed Murray also seemed intent on moving forward despite the elephant in the room. Monday afternoon he tweeted out a photo of himself at the Mariners home opener.
Earlier in the day, as the keynote speaker at a naturalization ceremony for new citizens, the mayor made no reference to the scandal hanging over him.
“I'm so glad that the media is here to watch this important event,” he said about the TV cameras in the room.
Meanwhile, the attorney for the man suing him filed a subpoena to depose the mayor's personal spokesperson,
Jeff Reading, of the public relations firm Strategies 360. Reading issued a statement defending the mayor last week.
In a letter to the mayor’s attorney accompanying the subpoena, the plaintiff's attorney Lincoln Beauregard wrote, "Obviously the Mayor's campaign should not be disseminating information to the public about these allegations without proof and/or foundation. Please know that we will depose everyone who makes these sort of comments to the public."
The subpoena could make anyone reluctant to communicate with Murray about the case, which may be just fine with the mayor, who would likely rather talk about anything else.