In a statement that goes out of its way to say nothing at all, Seattle City Council president Bruce Harrell indicated this morning that none of the nine members of the council will comment on child sex abuse allegations leveled against Mayor Ed Murray last week.
“My council colleagues and I have no intention of commenting on matters of pending or potential litigation," Harrell said in the statement, which was sent out to reporters this morning and which Harrell read aloud at the council's 9:30 am briefing. "We believe that it is critically important that, together, we remain committed to the business of governing."
(Read the full statement after the jump.)
A civil lawsuit first reported Thursday by the Seattle Times alleges that, in the 1980s, Murray paid a man identified as "D.H." $10 to $20 for sex at least 50 times over four to five years. During that time, the man was a teenager and Murray was in his 30s. The complaint alleges that D.H. knows Murray’s previous phone number, old address, layout of that apartment, and details about his body. Two other men who are not named in the suit made similar allegations to the Seattle Times. Murray has called the allegations "simply not true" and vowed to stay in office.
After Harrell read the statement in council chambers this morning, he quickly moved on to regular business. The other council members were quiet; none have responded to The Stranger's requests for comment.
Here's Harrell's full statement:
My Council colleagues and I have no intention of commenting on matters of pending or potential litigation. We believe that it is critically important that, together, we remain committed to the business of governing.
All City employees and City departments are focused on our core responsibilities of customer service, affordable housing, homelessness, public safety, transportation, education, and ensuring equality for all in a great, but rapidly growing city. The work before us is too critical for the future of Seattle and its residents. We intend to continue working with unwavering dedication to serving the people who put their faith in us.
Our city cannot afford to be distracted. There is a judicial process that will address the serious allegations that this situation has presented, and we will respect that process and the rights of all parties involved. All accusations of abuse require a thorough investigation. It is in our human nature to immediately want answers, but I ask we not cast aspersions to the parties involved before we have all the facts through the legal process. I am confident that through this process, truth and justice will prevail.
It is worth repeating we are steadfast and focused on serving the people of Seattle. Council has a strong committee structure that works with the city’s 40 departments in upholding our City Charter "of protecting and enhancing the health, safety, environment, and general welfare of the people; to enable municipal government to provide services and meet the needs of the people efficiently; to allow fair and equitable participation of all persons in the affairs of the City; to provide for transparency, accountability, and ethics in governance and civil service; to foster fiscal responsibility; to promote prosperity and to meet the broad needs for a healthy, growing City."