- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 20, 2005

Investigator: Mayor violated law, policy

SPOKANE, Wash. — A private investigator hired by the City Council says Mayor Jim West, who is facing a recall election over a sex scandal, violated the city’s Internet policy and state law.

In an 18-page report released late Friday, Mark Busto concluded the mayor broke state law by offering a position on the city’s Human Rights Commission to a young man he pursued for a homosexual relationship.

Mr. Busto also concluded Mr. West violated the city’s personnel policy on Internet access by “frequent and extensive use” of his city computer during the workday to browse pictures of men posted at a homosexual Web site, the Spokesman-Review reported.

“I find that Mayor West has engaged in a pattern and practice of linking discussions of sex with young men online with offers of city positions, both paid and unpaid,” Mr. Busto said in his report.

The mayor has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime.

Mr. West denounced the report and its conclusions Friday night, calling it politically timed to influence voters. Ballots for the recall election were mailed Friday.

Official apologizes for morgue mishap

PHILADELPHIA — A city health official has apologized to the relatives of a woman whose body sat unidentified in the Medical Examiner’s Office for more than two years.

“It’s something certainly the family is due,” Health Commissioner Joanne Godley told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Miss Godley said what happened to the remains of Unisha “Niecey” Jefferson, 38, was an “aberration” and that the city would conduct an extensive review to prevent similar mishaps in the future, the newspaper reported yesterday.

Miss Jefferson vanished April 14, 2003. Police found the body that turned out to be hers in an abandoned factory five months later.

The Medical Examiner’s Office was unable to identify the decomposed remains and failed to match the body with missing-person reports filed two weeks after Miss Jefferson’s disappearance.

Seven lotto winners claim $315 million

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. — The seven winners of a $315 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot have emerged after three days of anonymity to talk about their plans for all that money.

“We wanted to stay out of the limelight so we could get our thoughts together,” Kate Juergens, a 25-year-old receptionist, said Friday.

The jackpot in Tuesday’s drawing for the multistate game was the second-richest prize won with a single ticket in the history of lotteries in the United States.

Miss Juergens said she and her fellow winners, six laboratory workers from Kaiser Permanente medical center in Garden Grove, wanted to stay anonymous for a while so they could get used to the idea of being millionaires. Although each will receive about $25 million before taxes, they all showed up to work Wednesday.

Mariza Cuya, a lab worker, said she will spend part of her winnings on heart surgery her 6-year-old nephew is scheduled to undergo.

“We [had] mortgaged a car to help pay for it,” she said, fighting back tears.

Thieves swipe art by Pollock, Warhol

SCRANTON, Pa. — An oil painting by Jackson Pollock and a silkscreen by Andy Warhol were stolen from a museum by thieves who shattered a glass door in the back of the building, officials said.

The Pollock was likely worth about $11.6 million and the Warhol had a value of about $15,000, experts said.

The thieves had disappeared from the Everhart Museum by the time police arrived — four minutes after the alarm sounded at 2:30 a.m. Friday. Surveillance cameras were not working, officials said.

The thieves appeared to have been aided by a large tent covering the museum’s back entrance for an event, investigators said. Officials said they had no immediate leads.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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