Spokane, Wash. — Former Mayor James E. West, who opposed gay-rights bills but was recalled from office over an Internet gay sex scandal, died Saturday of complications from recent cancer surgery. He was 55.
The conservative former Republican state senate majority leader was diagnosed in early 2003 with colon cancer that later spread to his liver. A statement issued by University of Washington Medical Center said his family and pastor were at his side at the Seattle hospital.
Seven months after The Spokesman-Review newspaper began publishing results of a computer "sting" it conducted to track the mayor's online activities in a gay chat room, West was ousted from office on Dec. 6, 2005, on a single charge that he used his office for personal benefit.