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Spokane's Mayor Won't Step Down

June 04, 2005|From Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. — Mayor James E. West on Friday rebuffed new calls for his resignation, saying he would be willing to take a polygraph test to show he did not molest two boys decades ago.

"This has been an embarrassing, humiliating and painful experience, but it does not distract me from doing my job -- from leading -- and it doesn't need to distract the city," West said at a news conference.

State and local Republican Party leaders were the most recent voices to join a chorus calling for West's resignation.

The Spokesman-Review newspaper last month published allegations that West -- a former GOP state Senate majority leader who had long opposed gay rights -- molested two boys when he was a sheriff's deputy and Boy Scout leader in the early 1970s and 1980s.

The newspaper also reported that West recently sought out young men on a website and offered them gifts, favors and jobs at City Hall.

West, 55, acknowledged having relations with adult men and visiting a gay website, but denied the molestation allegation. He said he would take the polygraph test "if that's something that my attorneys suggest I do."

West told reporters he was "incredibly at peace" now that his sexuality was public.

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