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Judge releases
gay-themed index on West's computer

Judge releases
gay-themed index on West's computer

An index of gay-themed Internet Web pages that Spokane, Wash., mayor Jim West visited from his city-owned laptop computer has been released. The 107-page index does not contain individual Web addresses, because Adams County superior court judge Richard Miller ordered them redacted to protect the privacy of third parties. The mayor declined to comment when reached by reporters on Wednesday. On November 18, Miller ordered the release of an index that shows the dates and times West used the computer to visit Gay.com and other gay-themed Web sites, but not the pages or images he viewed. The index shows when the mayor looked at main Web pages and JPEG images in March, April, and May of this year. As West has claimed, most visits were made after 5 p.m. or on weekends. West, who is the subject of a December 6 recall election because of a City Hall sex scandal involving gay men, unsuccessfully tried to prevent release of the contents of his computer's hard drive, saying they were private and the Internet sites were accessed during off-work hours. The index was compiled from a copy of West's computer hard drive the FBI made as part of its public corruption investigation. No charges have been filed, and West continues to deny wrongdoing. Although the Web addresses of individual pages and "profiles" were blacked out, Miller said the hard drive contained 3,300 images, including 11 of explicit sexual activity and 100 pictures of male genitalia or buttocks. After reviewing the contents of the mayor's hard drive, Miller concluded that many of the images showed upper torso pictures of shirtless men. There was no text with the photos, he said. The recall-election charge alleges that West abused his office by offering a City Hall internship, in expectation of sexual favors, to a person he met in a Gay.com chat room whom he believed to be an 18-year-old man. The chat partner was actually a computer expert hired by The Spokesman-Review newspaper to track West's online activities. (AP)

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