SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane Mayor Jim West (search), fighting off calls for his resignation resulting from a gay sex scandal, insisted again Monday that he will finish out the remainder of his term.
"I ask that you accept my apology. I ask for your understanding. But more than anything, I ask that together we turn our attention back to making Spokane a better place to live," West said during a brief news conference.
West, who has 31 months remaining in his term, did not specify what he was apologizing for. He did not accept questions following his statement.
Many people -- including some City Council members and, earlier Monday, the Spokane Chamber of Commerce -- have called for West's resignation since The Spokesman-Review newspaper reported this month that he offered gifts, favors and jobs at City Hall to lure someone posing as an 18-year-old man on Gay.com.
The newspaper's series included accusations that West molested two boys in the 1970s when he was a deputy sheriff and a Boy Scout leader. West has denied those accounts, which were given by two convicted felons with acknowledged drug problems.
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether West abused his office. West returned to work Thursday after taking a 10-day leave to prepare his defense.
"When I returned to City Hall last week, I was incredibly humbled by the reaction and support I received from city employees," he said. "When all investigations are concluded, I expect to be exonerated."