- The Washington Times - Monday, May 23, 2005

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Mayor Jim West yesterday apologized for using “poor judgment,” but rejected a demand by local business leaders to resign amid charges that he offered city jobs to men he met in homosexual chat rooms.

Mr. West, 55, apologized for using “poor judgment in my private life.”

He didn’t elaborate, but has previously said he visited the Internet site Gay.com and had relations with adult men. It was his first press conference since returning from a brief leave of absence.

The former state legislator who has often opposed pro-homosexual measures said he intends to serve the remaining 2 years of his term as head of the city of 200,000 and that “when all the investigations are concluded, I expect to be exonerated.”

The Spokesman-Review has reported that Mr. West offered city jobs to young men he met online and sexually abused two boys decades ago as a Boy Scout leader.

Mr. West denied the molestation allegations and said he didn’t use city equipment to visit the homosexual site. He refused to answer questions from reporters after his announcement.

Shortly before Mr. West spoke, business leaders demanded that he resign “in the best interest of our community.”

The FBI is investigating whether Mr. West improperly used his political office and city resources. The city is investigating whether Mr. West’s city computer was used improperly.

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