August 5, 2005
You’ll recall that Jim West, a conservative Republican leader of Washington state’s senate before he was elected mayor of Spokane in 2003, got into a spot of bother back in May when two men accused him of molesting them when they were boys. West—who has long opposed gay rights—dug himself into a deeper hole by offering gifts and a City Hall internship to someone he met via Gay.com. His pickup turned out to be working for Spokane’s Spokesman-Review.
Now, the newspaper reports, the Feds are on the scene:
The FBI has searched the home of Spokane Mayor Jim West, seizing his computers and related files, court documents filed today reveal.
The FBI obtained the federal warrant to search West’s home in west Spokane after convincing a federal judge that there is probable cause to believe a federal crime has been committed.
The warrant says there is sufficient evidence to believe that West “knowingly and willingly engaged in a scheme to entice others to engage in sexual activity with him through offers and grants of city of Spokane jobs, internships or appointments.”
… The warrant is based on probable cause suggesting West violated federal public corruption laws, using interstate wire communications.
West has been clinging to his job since the initial allegations, despite being urged to resign by Spokane’s City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, and even the Republican Party—which, as we all know, rarely asks anyone to quit. Time to go.
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