Petition to recall mayor continues for one allegation

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- A recall petition drive against Mayor James E. West over a gay sex scandal can proceed, a judge ruled Monday.
Benton County Superior Court Judge Craig J. Matheson threw out two of the recall allegations against West. However, the allegation that West improperly offered city jobs to men he met in gay online chat rooms should be put before voters, the judge ruled.
The recall campaign was launched by Spokane resident Shannon Sullivan, who has said she began the effort after finding herself at a loss to explain newspaper reports of West's alleged behavior to her son.
West's lawyers had argued that Sullivan's petition should be dismissed as "factually and legally insufficient." Attorney William F. Etter said he would consult with West about appealing the remaining recall charge to the state Supreme Court.
"We respectfully disagree with that one charge going forward," Etter said.
The Spokesman-Review newspaper last month published allegations that West sought out young men on a gay Web site and offered them gifts, favors and jobs at city hall.

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