Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced his resignation following allegations of abuse against teenage boys.
The mayor said he was stepping aside just hours after the Seattle Times reported that his younger cousin, Joseph Dyer, had accused him of abuse.
Joseph Dyer, 54, is the fifth man to accuse Ed Murray of abuse dating back to the 1970s, the newspaper reports.
Ed Murray, 62, denies the allegations, but said he did not want “personal issues” interfering with “public business”.
He said in a statement on September 12: “While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public’s business.”
His resignation will take effect from 17:00 local time on September 13, the statement added.
Ed Murray said that he was “proud of all that I have accomplished” but added that due to the reported accusations “it is best for the city if I step aside”.
The first allegation of abuse against Ed Murray was reported in April. Since then, four more men have come forward, the Seattle Times reports.
Joseph Dyer said that he was 13 in the mid 1970s when he was abused by his elder cousin, Ed Murray.
Ed Murray, a former Democratic state representative who is in a gay marriage, says that he is the target of a political campaign aimed at stifling his progressive politics and tarnishing his record as a gay-rights champion.
The next mayoral election in Seattle will take place in January 2018.
Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell will take over as mayor until the election.
Pope Francis has met five victims of child abuse in the US, saying “God weeps” for their suffering.
The pontiff told the five survivors, an unknown number of whom had been abused by priests, that clergy and bishops would be held accountable when they abuse or fail to protect children.
Many abuse survivors are angry at how the Vatican has dealt with allegations.
The Roman Catholic Church in the US has been embroiled in child abuse scandals.
US dioceses have made huge compensation payouts to victims.
Pope Francis met the five victims, all now adults who had suffered abuse as children, on September 27 at a seminary in Pennsylvania, his spokesman said.
The group – three women and two men – had been abused by clergy, family members or teachers, Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement.
Each was accompanied by a family member, he added.
The Pope was “overwhelmed with shame that men entrusted with the tender care of children violated these little ones and caused grievous harm,” he told bishops following the meeting, on the final day of his visit to the US.
Pope Francis told the victims who were abused by a member of the clergy that he was “deeply sorry” for the times when the abuse was reported, but victims or their families “were not heard or believed,” the Vatican said in a statement.
“Please know that the Holy Father hears you and believes you,” Pope Francis told the survivors.
The Pope listened to the survivors’ stories, prayed with them, and expressed his “pain and shame” in the case of those harmed by clergy or church workers, Federico Lombardi said.
Pope Francis “renewed his commitment” to ensure that victims are treated with justice, the guilty are punished, and to effective prevention in the Church and in society, the statement said.
However, survivors’ advocacy groups expressed some skepticism at whether the Pope’s words would lead to any change.
In June the Pope approved the creation of a tribunal to hear cases of bishops accused of covering up child abuse by priests.
In 2014, the UN strongly criticized the Church for failing to stamp out abuse and for allowing cover-ups.
At the end of a nine-day tour of Cuba and the US, Pope Francis is due to hold an open-air Mass in Philadelphia later on Sunday.
Pope Francis also met inmates at a prison in the city earlier in the day.
The UN watchdog for children’s rights denounced the Holy See for adopting policies which allowed priests to abuse thousands of children.
The UN has said that the Vatican should “immediately remove” all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers.
In a report, it also criticized Vatican attitudes towards homos**uality, contraception and abortion.
The Vatican responded by saying it would examine the report – but also accused its authors of interference.
A group representing the victims of abuse by priests in the US welcomed the report.
The UN has said that the Vatican should “immediately remove” all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers
In its findings, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) said the Holy See should open its files on members of the clergy who had “concealed their crimes” so that they could be held accountable by the authorities.
It said it was gravely concerned that the Holy See had not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, and expressed its “deepest concern about child sexual abuse committed by members of the Catholic churches who operate under the authority of the Holy See, with clerics having been involved in the s**ual abuse of tens of thousands of children worldwide”.
It also lambasted the “practice of offenders’ mobility”, referring to the transfer of child abusers from parish to parish within countries, and sometimes abroad.
The UN report called on a Vatican commission created by Pope Francis in December to investigate all cases of child abuse “as well as the conduct of the Catholic hierarchy in dealing with them”.
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