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Current Events (Spokane Mayor Jim West) - Essay Example

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The recent scandal which uncovered the personal life of Spokane Mayor Jim West took place in May 5, 2005. Jim West sent e-mail (which was not for public usage) to a private person, but in a time it appeared in press. The context of the message discredited the Office and Major West himself, as it was sent on a gay site where Major West "was looking for some fun"…
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Current Events (Spokane Mayor Jim West)
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Current Events (Spokane Mayor Jim West) The recent scandal which uncovered the personal life of Spokane Mayor Jim West took place in May 5, 2005. Jim West sent e-mail (which was not for public usage) to a private person, but in a time it appeared in press. The context of the message discredited the Office and Major West himself, as it was sent on a gay site where Major West "was looking for some fun". The fact is that for a long time Jim West has "initiated legislation to outlaw sexual contact between consenting teenagers; supported a bill that would have barred gays and lesbians from working for schools, day care centers and some state agencies; voted to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman" (McGann, Mulady, 2005).
During the scandal the other facts of his private life also became publicly known to wide audience and to the City Council. Before this scandal West was involved in the accusations of child molestation. Three-year investigation and interviews with two felons who said West fondled them and forced them to perform sexual acts on him when they were Boy Scouts did not resulted in criminal responsibility because no evident had been found to accuse West. The anti-gay Mayor has been under scrutiny for allegedly molesting underage boys in the 70's and offering city jobs to young men he met on gay websites.
Government officials suppose that the best way out for the city and Mayor Jim West is to resign. They say that many politicians are strong enough to overcome scandals and gossips, but in this case it will be impossible for public to "forget and forgive" it. It should be mentioned that some employees at Spokane City Hall were shocked by the accusations, others were trying to understand the implications.
Organizers of an effort to remove Mayor Jim West were reviewing the wording of their recall petition after receiving an approval form a judge on one of the allegations in their ballot proposal. In general, federal and state authorities persist that Major West leave his post as soon as possible, and City Council sent two proposals to him asking to leave his post but Major West resigned both of them (City Council, 2005). His attorneys had argued that offering internships was part of his official duties as mayor, and there was no evidence that he had done anything improper. Even if West had contacted men on the site for gays, "which his attorney Susan Troppmann described as a secure site where he had some expectation of privacy" (Morlin, 2005), that wasn't an official act that could be termed offence.
The legal constrains faced by West has not solved yet, and the scandal in Spokane is getting worse. A citizen's recall initiative was filed alleging that James West used state property (an office computer) to access the pornosites while at work. His office computer was seized as possible evidence. If these allegations are true, Mayor West should step down in disgrace. He said that "he'd stay on for the rest of his term, and will be taking a leave of absence to prepare his legal defenses" (McGann, Mulady, 2005).
According to the Legislation the state Supreme Court has rules for appellate procedure that take precedence over the statutes, and those rules specifically mention the recall statutes, (McGann, Mulady, 2005). While an appeal of a recall petition goes directly to the Supreme Court without the normal intervening stop at an appeals court, it wouldn't necessarily be on a fast track.
Critics say that Jim West is politically dead. But it doesn't appear he has done anything to justify being removed from office involuntarily before the next election. Even if he doesn't have a good job offer lined up, it might not be best for him to stay on as Mayor of Spokane, and collect his salary through the end of the term. Any politicians should be strong enough to live his post if his actions disconsider his status and administration. Citizens cannot believe a person who does not follow the social values and norms he preaches. West is living on the latter side of a culture that has in the past been very intolerant, and that's a shame, but catering to that intolerance has only made his life worse.
References
1. City officials call for major west to step down (2005) Available at: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8060810/
2. McGann, Ch., Mulady K. (2005). Gay sex scandal rocks Spokane Mayor denies he abused boys in 1970s or misused his office. May 6, Available at: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/223201_west06.html
3. Morlin, B. West tired to sex abuse in 70's using office to lure young men (2005), May5. Available at: www.spokesmanreviewcom/jimweststory.aspID=050505_westman Read More
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