Delvonn Heckard says in a claim filed with the city clerk that he was defamed when Seattle Mayor Ed Murray used his “position of power” to falsely accuse him of participating in an “anti-gay right wing conspiracy.”
The Kent man who recently filed, then withdrew a lawsuit that claimed Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused him decades ago now wants $1 million to $3 million from the city, contending Murray used his public office to defame him.
According to his claim, Delvonn Heckard, 46, is seeking damages for harm he says he experienced when Murray, “utilizing and abusing his position of power” as mayor “falsely and defamatorily accused Mr. Heckard, a gay man, of participating in an anti-gay right wing conspiracy along with other victims including Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson.”
The two-page claim form, submitted Wednesday on Heckard’s behalf by his attorney, Lincoln Beauregard, contends Murray’s private lawyers and personal spokesman participated in the alleged defamation “during various press conferences over a period of months.”
“It was recently confirmed that there was no conspiracy and Mayor Murray fabricated these allegations for political gain and in order to silence Mr. Heckard, and other victims,” the claim states.
Benton Strong, the mayor’s spokesman, declined comment Thursday, directing questions to Julie Moore, a spokeswoman for the city’s finance department. Moore said later the city doesn’t comment on open claims investigations.
Murray, 62, a longtime politician and gay-rights champion, has roundly denied the allegations by Heckard and three other men who have made similar abuse accusations this year. The mayor at times has asserted the allegations were somehow coordinated and driven by lawyers or others targeting his politics.
“I was the leading gay figure, the leading LGBT figure in the state for almost 20 years (and) under constant attack from the far right,” Murray said during an interview this month.
Filed in April, Heckard’s lawsuit alleged Murray paid him for sex multiple times, starting when Heckard was a 15-year-old drug addict on Capitol Hill in the late 1980s.
Simpson and Anderson — who both met Murray in the late 1970s when they lived at a Portland group home for kids — also separately allege that Murray sexually exploited them as teens in the 1980s. Lavon Jones, a friend of Heckard’s who…