has been sworn in as mayor of Spokane, Wash., replacing
James E. West, who was recalled last month after a City Hall
Hession pledged "to be bold and creative" in
moving beyond the extraordinary circumstances of the
past seven months. "It's not the situation that
defines us...but how we respond to it," Hession said
Tuesday of the abuse-of-office scandal that brought him to
office. He said the city would not dwell on the events
that led to West's ouster.
Hession, 55, has been acting mayor since West
was voted out of office by 65% of the vote in a
special recall election on December 6. A lawyer and
longtime member of the city's park board, Hession was
elected to his first term on the council in 2001 and
became council president in 2003. He will serve the
remaining two years of West's four-year term.
West, a longtime Republican lawmaker and Boy
Scout executive, was recalled from office seven months
after The Spokesman-Review newspaper began
publishing a series of reports alleging that he used
his office for personal benefit by soliciting dates
with young men. The newspaper accused West of trolling gay
Internet chat rooms for dates and offering city jobs
and perks to young men in expectation of having sex
with them. West denied breaking any laws but
acknowledged having relations with adult men. The
FBI acknowledged that it was conducting a public
corruption investigation after seizing the hard drives
of West's work and home computers.
Hession has filled in for West at public and
ceremonial events since the newspaper began publishing
articles about the former mayor's online activities in
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