SPOKANE, Wash. – The City Council will vote on whether to demand the resignation of Mayor James West (search), who has been accused of offering city jobs to men he met in gay online chat rooms.
City Councilwoman Cherie Rodgers submitted a resolution Wednesday calling for West to resign immediately. She said it is scheduled for a vote May 30.
The seven-member council does not have the power to remove the mayor, and Rodgers may not even have enough votes to pass her resolution. A vote demanding that West take a formal leave of absence deadlocked in the council on Monday. But Rodgers is hoping West will see that the scandal is hurting the city.
"With all the media attention we have received, it's difficult to get anything done up here," Rodgers said.
West is the subject of investigations by the city and the FBI over allegations he used his office to solicit dates from young men. He has been on a self-imposed leave since shortly after the allegations first surfaced.
Only a public recall vote can remove him from office. A woman whose recall petition was rejected by the county prosecutor's office has filed a new petition to meet the requirements of state law.
West has not responded to interview requests and his attorney, Bill Etter, did not return messages seeking comment.
The Spokesman-Review has published a series of stories that included allegations that West molested two boys in the 1970s. West, a longtime opponent of gay rights, has denied those allegations, but he has acknowledged seeking dates on Gay.com. The newspaper has also alleged he has offered gifts, favors and positions at City Hall to lure young men.