Spokane mayor rejects calls for resignation

BY

May 23 2005 11:00 PM ET

Spokane, Wash.,
mayor Jim West, fighting off calls for his resignation
resulting from a gay sex scandal, insisted again Monday that
he will finish out the remainder of his term.
"I ask that you accept my apology. I ask for your
understanding. But more than anything, I ask that together
we turn our attention back to making Spokane a better place
to live," West said during a brief news conference.
West, who has 31 months remaining in his term, did
not specify what he was apologizing for. He did not accept
questions following his statement.
Many people--including some city council members and,
earlier Monday, the Spokane chamber of commerce--have called
for West's resignation since The Spokesman-Review
newspaper reported this month that he offered gifts, favors,
and jobs at City Hall to lure someone posing as an
18-year-old man on Gay.com.
The newspaper's series included accusations that West
molested two boys in the 1970s, during a period when he was
a deputy sheriff and a Boy Scout leader. West has denied
those accounts, which were given by two convicted felons
with acknowledged drug problems.
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether
West abused his office. West returned to work Thursday after
taking a 10-day leave to prepare his defense. "When I
returned to City Hall last week, I was incredibly humbled by
the reaction and support I received from city employees," he
said. "When all investigations are concluded, I expect to be
exonerated." (AP)

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