Seattle reaches settlement with one of ex-Mayor Murray’s accusers

SEATTLE – The City of Seattle said Monday evening that it reached a settlement with one of the men who accused former Mayor Ed Murray with sexual abuse.

The city attorney’s office said it had settled the roughly $1 million lawsuit filed by Jeff Simpson for $75,000.

“This negotiated agreement allowed us to avoid the uncertainty and expense of trial, which helps limit further financial exposure of the taxpayer,” said city attorney Pete Holmes. “I wish Mr. Simpson nothing but the best, and I hope this settlement allows him to move forward.”

Simpson, 50, is Murray’s former foster son.

His claim contends that Murray misled the public by claiming he and other accusers were part of a coordinated, anti-gay effort targeting him for his progressive politics. By citing Simpson's criminal record, the claim says, Murray sought to undermine his credibility and "shame and silence Mr. Simpson and reduce him down (in the public eye) to a nothing."

The claim says the city of Seattle's support of Murray continued until the day he left office.

"The evidence will show that while Murray bemoaned the 'political attack' against him, behind the scenes he desperately politicked and used city resources to his fullest advantage to rally support from several City Council members and former mayors," it said.

The city previously reached a $150,000 settlement with another man, 47-year-old Delvonn Heckard, last December. Heckard died of a drug overdose in an Auburn motel room in April.

Murray resigned in September 2017 after his younger cousin accused him of sexual abuse. That man, 54-year-old Joseph Dyer, was the fifth to make public accusations against Murray.