Man, this story is getting more weird...and this guy is a disgusting creep. From the Spokesman- Review which broke the story and continues to uncover the sordid details:
Spokane Mayor Jim West told City Council members Monday that he would take a leave of absence amid controversy over his sexual behavior and use of the mayor's office. West said he would remain in close contact with Deputy Mayor Jack Lynch, who will take over leadership in his absence.I have a feeling that the gay-hating Mayor might end up being somebody's bitch sometime soon.
UPDATE: The Spokesman-Review has a special section dedicated to the West scandal...including all the on-line chats....and, ah, yeah....sure reads like he was masturbating. For example, as the paper reports about the 3/29/05 chat:
This chat is the second of two where the participants engaged in online sex.You have to read those for yourselves.
ANOTHER UPDATE: It's not his fault. He's been picked on by the Spokesman-Review. That's what AP is reporting:
West told the City Council that the allegations printed in The Spokesman-Review in recent days were false and that he would take his first vacation since taking office in January 2004 to prepare a response.OKAY ONE MORE UPDATE (8:41 P.M.): This one, from the Spokane-Review, is going to be real trouble for the gay-hating Mayor. He is really sleazy and nasty:
"I hope that you and the people will reserve judgment on me until the newspaper is done persecuting me and allow me to have the fair opportunity to respond to each of the allegations in due time," West said in brief remarks at the beginning of the council meeting.
Ryan M. Oelrich, a 24-year-old openly gay man, said he was appointed by West to the city Human Rights Commission in April 2004, but didn't know at the time that West was the same man he'd met earlier in Gay.com using the screen aliases "Cobra82nd" and "RightBi-Guy."
Sometime after the appointment, Oelrich said he realized the mayor was the same person he'd been talking to online beginning in 2003. While on the commission, Oelrich said he rebuffed a series of sexually explicit online advances from West.
After appointing Oelrich to the policy-making Human Rights Commission, West "offered me $300 cash if I'd swim naked with him in my swimming pool," Oelrich said.
He declined West's offer as "being totally inappropriate,'' said the 2004 graduate of Gonzaga University.
Oelrich, who heads a gay youth organization in Spokane, said he knows of five or six other young gay men in the city who received "inappropriate sexual advances" from West. Of that group, two have been offered City Hall jobs by the mayor, Oelrich said.