By Eric M. Johnson
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, dogged since April by mounting allegations of child sexual abuse, said he would resign as mayor effective Wednesday afternoon.
Murray's decision to resign effectively ends the decades-long political career of Seattle's first openly gay mayor. As a senator in Washington state's legislature, he championed legalizing same-sex marriage. As mayor, he campaigned to raise the minimum wage.
In recent months, he has faced growing pressure to resign as more people came forward to accuse him of sexual assault.
"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," Murray said in a statement announcing his resignation.
Murray also is an opponent of President Donald Trump. During Murray's tenure as mayor, Seattle sued Trump over his executive order cracking down on sanctuary cities that limit their cooperation with federal immigration agents.
Seattle Council President Bruce Harrell will become Mayor upon Murray's resignation, which is effective Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Five men have come forward to accuse Murray of sexually abusing them as children.
He has consistently denied the accusations, calling them politically motivated. Still, Murray dropped his re-election bid in May. At the time he said he would stay on as mayor until his term expired at year's end.
In April, a 46-year-old man sued Murray, claiming the mayor paid the man for sex when he was a homeless, drug-addicted teenager in the 1980s. That man later dropped his lawsuit.
The Seattle Times reported in July that a child welfare report filed with the state of Oregon said Murray sexually abused his teenage foster son in the 1980s.
Murray announced his decision to resign on Tuesday, after the Seattle Times reported that his younger cousin told the newspaper that the mayor repeatedly molested him as a teenager in the 1970s.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; editing by Peter Cooney and David Gregorio)