Shortly after 5:00pm this evening, Bruce Harrell took the oath of office as Seattle’s 54th Mayor. He was flanked by City Council members, city department heads, and his family and friends.
As I reported earlier today, Mayor Ed Murray announced early this afternoon that he is resigning effective at 5:00pm Wednesday. Since that time, there has been a mad scramble, both by city officials and by reporters and pundits, to sort out what happens next.
Last Week, Council President Harrell sent a memo to his Council colleagues clarifying the process that would follow if Mayor Ed Murray were to step down before the end of his term, as several people have called on him to do. Or at least clarifying parts of it, because the path leads into uncharted territory.
A week ago, Council member Lorena Gonzalez called on Mayor Ed Murray to step down in light of revelations of an Oregon CPS file in which a case worker found the sexual abuse charges against Murray to be credible. She later clarified her original statement, saying that the situation is unprecedented and she wants to make sure that the Council understands the procedures and protocols for continuity of government no matter what happens.
Last Friday, the Mayor responded to Gonzalez and her colleagues.
At the end of the press conference that she and her colleague Tim Burgess held this afternoon on this morning’s court hearing, Council member Lorena Gonzalez took questions on the statement she issued yesterday related to the new evidence accusing Mayor Ed Murray of sexual abuse.