SEATTLE (AP) — A man who accused Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of sexually abusing him decades ago has demanded more than $1 million from the city, saying Murray defamed him.
Delvonn Heckard filed the claim Wednesday seeking from $1 million to $3 million. He said the mayor used his position to falsely accuse Heckard of participating in an “anti-gay right wing conspiracy” against the mayor. Both Heckard and Murray are gay.
“Mayor Murray fabricated these allegations for political gain and in order to silence Mr. Heckard, and other victims,” the claim said.
The mayor’s spokesman declined to comment and referred questions to the city’s finance department, which said it does not comment on open claims.
Heckard is one of four men who have accused Murray of sexually abusing them years ago. Murray denies the claims, but declined to seek re-election. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are a victim of sex abuse, but Heckard has said he wanted his name made public.
Murray was in the vanguard of the gay rights movement in the 1980s, serving as campaign manager for Cal Anderson, a Seattle state senator who was the state’s first openly gay member.
During his 18 years as a state lawmaker, Murray was the prime sponsor of Washington’s gay marriage law, spearheaded an effort to protect LGBTQ youth in public schools and led the state’s push to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
He was elected mayor in 2013 after a tough campaign that focused on whether Murray would be more liberal and effective than incumbent Mike McGinn, a fellow Democrat.