By: E&P Staff
The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wa., which on Thursday published allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of power against the city?s mayor, remained on the story Saturday, with new charges from two men, now living in Seattle, about his conduct as recently as 2001.
Meanwhile, city officials announced an independent investigation into Mayor Jim West’s internship program and his use of e-mail and the Web on city time.
In the most recent charge, Brad Crelia, of Seattle, said he was a 15-year-old in 2001 when West, then state senate minority leader, asked him out. Crelia is the son of the former publisher of a weekly paper, the Local Planet.
The other man said he was sexually abused in 1980 at the age of 12 on a Boy Scout trip by one of West?s friends (who later committed suicide). He said he reported the incident to Scout leader West, who allegedly did nothing about it.
The newspaper verified his account with the man?s parents.
West, 54, has denied any knowledge of this friend?s activities until many years later. On Friday, West resigned from the board of directors for Morning Star Boys? Ranch.
He has admitted using a gay chat room recently, but has denied sexually abusing two boys who came forward earlier this week with allegations dating back more than two decades.
West, a Republican, strongly opposed many gay rights measures as a state legislator. More recently, as mayor, he threatened to veto a domestic partner benefit measure.
On Thursday, the newspaper reported that West offered gifts and a City Hall internship to a man on Gay.com whom he believed was 18 years-old but was actually a forensic computer expert hired by the newspaper.
Some journalist ethicists have questioned this subterfuge, while others have said it is within the bounds of investigative reporting.