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Spokane Council Votes to Ask Mayor to Resign

June 01, 2005|From Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. — The City Council voted Tuesday night to ask Mayor James E. West to resign, hours after he told a national audience he would survive allegations that he offered city jobs to men he met online in gay chat rooms.

The vote was advisory. The mayor can only be removed from office by a recall election. A group of residents has begun circulating a recall petition.

The vote came after 90 minutes of sometimes emotional testimony during which supporters noted that West had not been charged with any crimes.

But the mayor's critics said the scandal had impaired West's ability to lead and was consuming too much civic time and attention.

Earlier Tuesday, West told NBC's "Today" show he expected to be exonerated by FBI and city investigations.

The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane has reported allegations that West molested two boys in the late 1970s and early 1980s when he was a Boy Scout leader, and that he offered gifts, favors and jobs at City Hall to young men he met online.

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