Accuser drops sexual-abuse lawsuit against Mayor Ed Murray, saying he will refile next year

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has denied the allegations, saying the lawsuit was politically motivated and meant to drive him from office. The accuser says he intends to refile next year.

The man who filed a lawsuit accusing Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of sexually abusing him three decades ago when he was an underage crack-addict withdrew the case Tuesday, saying he plans to refile early next year.

A lawyer for Delvonn Heckard filed paperwork in King County Superior Court to drop the civil lawsuit — which last month prompted Murray to end his campaign for a second term — under a procedural rule that allows plaintiffs to refile under certain conditions.

Murray has denied Heckard’s allegations, saying the lawsuit and similar accusations by three others were politically motivated and meant to drive him from office. Murray, who was a strong favorite to win reelection, announced May 9 he was ending his run. The other three men have not sued.

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Jeff Reading, Murray’s personal spokesman, said he would have a comment shortly.

The filing by Heckard’s attorney, Lincoln Beauregard, says Heckard wants to complete drug rehabilitation and believes his case would have a better chance at success once Murray is out of office. Murray, 62, plans to serve out his term through the end of the year.

Heckard, 46, who lives at a recovery center in Kent, said Tuesday he stands behind his claims against Murray, but agreed with his attorneys to withdraw the case for now.

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The withdrawal of Heckard’s civil lawsuit is the latest in a series of stunning developments that in just a little over two months reshaped Seattle mayoral race.

The primary election is Aug. 1 and 21 candidates have filed to succeed Murray.

This story will be updated.

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