A Case Study in Ethics in Journalism
The Series of Stories

The Series of Spokane Spokesman-Review Stories

This package of stories will be passed on to the judges, but first you must determine whether or not it was produced ethically. Of course, we expect you to read the complete series, with special attention to the role of the undercover forensic computer expert who posed as an 18-year-old boy. Select from the list below to view the full article text in a printable format. Most articles are also available at their original external locations.

*Please note there is explicit language used in these interviews.

West tied to sex abuse in '70s, using office to lure young men

Allegations shadow politician throughout his career

Bill Morlin / Staff writer

May 5, 2005

© The Spokesman-Review 2005

For a quarter century, the man who is now Spokane's mayor has used positions of public trust – as a sheriff's deputy, Boy Scout leader and powerful politician – to develop sexual relationships with boys and young men.

One man, Robert J. Galliher, claims in a court deposition that Jim West molested him in the mid-1970s when he was a boy and West was a Spokane County sheriff's deputy and Boy Scout leader.

A second man, Michael G. Grant Jr., also accuses West of sexual abuse during the same era, including an incident at Camp Cowles, a Boy Scout camp on Diamond Lake.

In addition, an investigation by The Spokesman-Review has revealed that 17 months after leaving the state Legislature, West has used the trappings of the mayor's office to entice and influence young men he met on a gay Web site.

On one recent occasion, West offered a man he believed to be an 18-year-old – whom he met online at Gay.com – gifts, favors and a City Hall internship, Internet dialogues retained by the newspaper reveal. The 18-year-old was actually a forensic computer expert working for the newspaper.

Last June, West went on a dinner date with another 18-year-old he met in the same gay chat room. The young man, initially unaware of his date's identity, paid for dinner, and then was allowed to drive West's blue Lexus convertible. The evening ended with consensual sex, the 18-year-old told the newspaper.

West, interviewed Wednesday evening at the newspaper, called the allegations leveled at him by Galliher and Grant "flat lies," but he admitted having private online relationships in the past year through Gay.com.

Asked if he had ever abused a child, he responded: "Never. Never. Absolutely not."

Asked about the claims of Galliher and Grant, West said, "I didn't abuse them. I don't know these people. I didn't abuse anybody, and I didn't have sex with anybody under 18 – ever – woman or man."

"My private life is my private life, and always has been," the mayor told two Spokesman-Review reporters and a photographer.

"There's been a strong wall between my public life and my private life," West said Wednesday.

He admitted offering an internship in his office, sports memorabilia he's collected, help with college admissions, and trips to sports events and Washington, D.C., to a man he believed was an 18-year-old he met online at Gay.com. But he emphatically said he didn't view those offers as "enticements to teenagers" or an abuse of his public office.

"Any kid in this town who walked into my office and filled out an application and could come to work, dressed properly and clean, could be an intern in my office," the mayor said.

Later, asked about his private life, he said: "I wouldn't characterize me as 'gay,' but he didn't distance himself from the term "bisexual."

"The Gay.com thing has only been, I can't recall, but it hasn't been very long," West later said when told the newspaper had learned about his online aliases "Cobra82nd" and "RightBi-Guy."

"I can't tell you why I go there, to tell you the truth … curiosity, confused, whatever, I don't know," the mayor said.

Rumors about inappropriate sexual behavior have shadowed West for years in state political circles, but no one has talked publicly until now.

In the lawsuit against the county, Galliher, his older brother Brett and two other men claim former Spokane County sheriff's Deputy David Hahn sexually molested them during the mid-'70s and early 1980s.

West is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. But Galliher's sexual abuse allegations against West are included in Galliher's deposition taken last month in Seattle and in a letter he wrote from prison in early 2004.

The letter was given to private lawyers representing Spokane County as part of discovery in the suit. West, who said he was unaware of the letter and details of the deposition, could be called as a witness in that trial and could be asked questions under oath before then.

Position of trust

In separate interviews last month, Galliher, 36, and Grant, 31, said they were introduced to West by David Hahn sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Hahn and West were close friends, serving together as sheriff's deputies and Scout leaders of Troop 345, which met at Hamblen Elementary School on Spokane's South Hill.

While Galliher and Grant struggled with drug addiction and incarceration as adults, West moved on to become one of the most influential Republicans in the state – even talking privately to aides and fellow politicians about running for governor one day.

Galliher said he's "not really sure" why he hasn't publicly talked about West until now. In a June 2003 story in The Spokesman-Review, Galliher accused Hahn of molesting him at least 40 times, sometimes in the deputy's patrol car. Since that 2003 interview, Galliher joined the suit against the county.

"I was still afraid of him, West, for one," Galliher said last month near Seattle where he is living. "I mean, he held a pretty high job. Someone in my position really didn't want anything to do with him."

Galliher said his stomach churned in November 2003 when West was elected mayor of Spokane.

"I thought it was pretty sick … after what he'd done to me," said Galliher, a skilled craftsman who did some tile work for the Davenport Hotel renovation.

When he talks about the abuse, which he said occurred when he was between the ages of 8 and 11, he becomes emotional. Perspiration beads up on his forehead, and his deep voice frequently breaks. He said counselors have told him he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from the abuse.

Galliher, his older brothers and younger sister grew up in Spokane Valley, living in a house near Boone Avenue and Pines Road with their mother. Their father, a long-haul trucker, was rarely at home. His parents eventually divorced.

Galliher said he and his brother Brett met Hahn in the spring of 1977. Hahn responded to a service call after a woman threatened to run over the boys with her car while they delivered newspapers, Galliher said.

Hahn befriended the Galliher family and visited their home when he was off duty. Soon after, he took Robert and Brett – always separately – on outings to the gym and to his apartment at 3420 S. Regal St.

Part of the attraction for both Galliher boys, they said, was Hahn's new blue Datsun 280Z sports car equipped with an early-model cell phone.

Galliher said he can't remember the specific date, but said one day at Hahn's apartment he was introduced to one of his friends who identified himself to Galliher as Jim West.

"This one time Dave ended up leaving me in the apartment with Jim West," Galliher recalled. "Jim West ended up molesting me – just grabbing my penis, fondling me, making me fondle him. Some oral sex, if you call it that."

Afterward, Galliher said he was warned by West not to say anything. "He just told me I better not tell anyone about this. I mean, kind of the same threat that Dave Hahn had told me."

Galliher claims he was molested at least four times by West, twice while West was on duty in uniform, driving a sheriff's car.

At Hahn's South Hill apartment, Galliher said, he frequently was given small amounts of marijuana to smoke by West and Hahn. "They didn't smoke it, but they'd give it to me," he said.

While he doesn't remember the precise sequence of the alleged molestations, he recalled a time when he attended a "pine wood derby" race at Broadway Elementary in Spokane Valley. Galliher said he was approached by West and taken to his private vehicle and molested.

Another time, Galliher said, West showed up in uniform while Galliher and his friends rode their bicycles in a dirt lot near the former Chapter 11 restaurant on East Sprague Avenue.

"He pulled up in his car, the green police car," Galliher said. "That time he put my bike in the trunk and gave me a ride home. Not home, close to home. He stopped on the way, somewhere, and parked, and did the same thing again."

On another occasion, West was on duty when he showed up at East Bowl, a bowling alley where Galliher frequently hung out with his buddies.

"He just picked me up and drove me somewhere again and molested me," Galliher said.

He told no one about the abuse. But even the name of one of his favorite TV cartoon shows, "Jonny Quest," reminded him of Jim West, he said.

Witness to a death

Hahn used his service revolver to kill himself in his South Hill apartment on Aug. 28, 1981, after being confronted by sheriff's officials with accusations of pedophilia. He was 36.

Galliher said the abuse by West stopped after Hahn's suicide.

In his interview with The Spokesman-Review, Galliher revealed publicly for the first time that he witnessed Hahn's suicide.

On that day, Galliher said Hahn picked him up in his personal car near Terrace View Park in Spokane Valley.

Hahn drove back to his apartment on South Regal, molested Galliher, and then spent a considerable amount of time on the telephone, Galliher said.

"I remember he wasn't really being himself that day," he said. "He took me into the bedroom, and we were sitting on the bed. He pulled his gun out, which he'd done before. This time he put the gun up to my head.

"I closed my eyes, and then he moved the gun to his head and blew his brains out," Galliher said.

He said he ran from the South Hill apartment, traumatized and frightened.

"My only thought was to get out of there," Galliher said.

He did not call police or medics.

"I lived in the Valley, so it was a long walk. I mean it took me probably almost all night to get home. I went down to the bowling alley where I hung out and slept in this field."

After Hahn's death, records of the investigation and citizen complaints were put into his personnel file, which was then destroyed, Sheriff Mark Sterk said in 2003. Then-Sheriff Larry Erickson, who defeated West for the sheriff's job in 1978, closed the case.

Galliher's mother, Marlene Traynor, accuses the Spokane County Sheriff's Office of covering up evidence of abuse of her sons.

"It's definitely been a cover-up, I'd say," said Traynor, who lives in Eastern Washington. In the mid-1980s, she reported Hahn's alleged abuse of her sons, Robert and Brett Galliher, beginning when they were 8 and 10, to the Sheriff's Department, which paid for some counseling but never conducted a formal investigation, she said.

"For someone to recover from something like this, there has to be a healing process, and that can't occur until someone in official capacity admits that, yes, it did happen and that they're sorry," she said.

"Instead, my two sons were treated with almost brutality," Traynor said. "On the other hand, David Hahn was given a bloody hero's funeral. It's like he died in the line of duty."

Eight months after Hahn's suicide, George E. Robey, another Scout leader who was a friend of Hahn's and West's, also killed himself amid allegations he sexually abused boys. Robey was leader of Troop 353, which met at Hutton Elementary, whose Scouts frequently joined the Hahn-West troop on outings.

Robey's death, like Hahn's, was handled by police as a routine suicide. No records exist showing there was an investigation into pedophilia.

Galliher said he told no one about West or about Hahn's suicide until writing a letter in January 2004 to Mic Hunter, a St. Paul, Minn., psychologist and author of "Abused Boys," a book on sex abuse.

At the time he wrote the letter, which was obtained by The Spokesman-Review, Galliher was serving prison time for eluding police and burglary – crimes he blames on his drug addiction – and was looking for help from Hunter. The author acknowledged receiving the letter. He sent a brief reply suggesting where Galliher could get some help.

After the June 2003 story in which Galliher was quoted as saying he was abused by Hahn, Galliher said, he was paid a visit by West.

Galliher said he was serving time at Geiger Corrections Center when West, a Spokane mayoral candidate, came by late at night and told Galliher not to talk about the past. Galliher, who is now on parole, said he was given the same message by his Geiger counselor, Robin Butcher: "to keep my mouth shut about West or I'd suffer some pretty severe consequences."

Butcher confirmed April 13 that she received an "oral directive" from Mike Pannek, Geiger's director, to tell inmate Galliher to stop talking about West.

"I told Mr. Galliher he was not to contact or harass Jim West either at home or his business," she said. Butcher said she had no knowledge that Galliher was contacting West and was merely "following orders."

Pannek, now running prisons in Iraq for the U.S. government, said by e-mail that he "vaguely recalls" getting the message from West.

The mayor denied going to Geiger, but said he did send a message to Galliher after getting several "anonymous harassing" calls suggesting he needed to talk to the inmate.

West said he had no idea why he might need to talk to Galliher.

More claims of abuse

Like Galliher, Michael Grant has battled addiction. He's currently in jail in central Washington, facing his seventh felony drug conviction.

Grant said he was sexually abused twice by Hahn and twice by West when he was 7 or 8, including once at Camp Cowles, the Boy Scout camp on Diamond Lake north of Spokane in Pend Oreille County.

Hahn and West used a federal grant in 1977 for a weeklong summer camp for troubled kids, who were commingled with regular Scout campers at Camp Cowles. West denies that any sexual abuse happened at the camp, and said he had no idea his friend Hahn was a pedophile.

"You know I ran Scout camps for five years. I had 1,300 kids a year come through the Scout camp … and taught a lot of kids how to swim," West said.

As a young boy with parents who were separated, Grant said he spent a lot of time on the streets, frequently riding his bicycle from Spokane's West Central neighborhood to University City, near where other family and friends lived.

"I was a hellion kid, I guess," he said in a jailhouse interview. "I would just jump on my bike and go."

Grant said he believes he was 7 or 8 when he and two other boys were stopped by Hahn for throwing rocks and breaking windows at a vacant house.

After letting the other two boys go, Hahn put Grant in the back seat of the sheriff's patrol car and molested him, Grant said.

A similar molestation occurred a few weeks later when Hahn again spotted him and a group of friends, who were Cub Scouts, Grant said.

At some point, Hahn took him to his apartment on South Regal to introduce him to a friend who was identified as Jim West, Grant said. He was not told West was a sheriff's deputy, Grant said.

"They just molested me. Sodomized me," Grant said. "Not at the same time, just like took turns. They took me into the bathroom and one came in, then the other."

Grant said he encountered West again when he and his brother Donald, also in scouting, went to a Scout outing at Camp Cowles.

"Jim West came to where our camp was," Grant said. "He asked me to come back to his camper he had at the campgrounds."

"I told him I didn't want to go," Grant said. "He told me I need to come with him."

"He molested me in the camper," Grant said. "He sodomized me. That's all, I mean that's not all."

He didn't elaborate, but said he told no one about being sexually abused at the Boy Scout camp.

"Who was I to tell?" he said. "I couldn't even tell my brother because I was embarrassed about it."

Grant also said he was threatened by West. "I was told if I was to tell anybody, that he would kill my mom … that she would not exist no more."

West said he never met anyone named Michael G. Grant.

He dropped out of the Boy Scouts shortly after that encounter and dropped out of school in the seventh grade. Over the years he's held a series of odd jobs.

Unlike Galliher, Grant said he's never considered talking with a lawyer or a counselor.

"Money ain't gonna do me no good," he said. "It ain't gonna make me feel any better."

As for counselors, "they just poke and prod. I'd much rather put it in the back of my head. Maybe it's not the right thing to do, but it's how I've dealt with this one."

Now a father himself, Grant said he has a deep-seated distrust of both the Boy Scouts and law-enforcement officers.

"I see a cop, and I run," he said. "I see cops, they're no good. To me, that's the way I've thought my whole life because if one cop will do that to you, who says the next one won't?"

"Now I'm big enough to stand up for my own self and there ain't nobody going to touch me like that again," he said. "Ain't nobody gonna touch my kids, ain't nobody going to touch none of them."

West's public policy conflicts with private life

Karen Dorn Steele / Staff writer

May 5, 2005

© The Spokesman-Review 2005

In an Internet chat room last New Year’s Eve where he discussed his recent date with an 18-year-old man, Spokane Mayor Jim West criticized the “sex Nazis” who try to regulate private sexual behavior.

For years, that’s exactly what West tried to do in Olympia.

Over two decades, West rose to power in the Washington Legislature with a carefully cultivated image as a fiscally conservative Republican opposed to gay rights, abortion rights and teenage sex.

His abrasive style and temper were legendary in Olympia. But even his opponents speak highly of his legislative and budgetary skills, which have made him one of the state’s most powerful politicians.

Because of his clout as the former Senate majority leader and his reputation for attacking his enemies, no one has publicly confronted West about any discrepancy between his private sexual behavior and his political stances, people in politics and in Spokane’s gay community have said.

While members of Spokane’s gay community said it’s widely rumored that West is a closeted gay man, they also said his sexual orientation is only an issue when his behavior intrudes on the legislative process and public policy.

Although West was married for five years in the 1990s and was seen with women during his legislative campaigns, it was whispered in Olympia that West dated and mentored young men.

“It’s the worst-kept secret in Washington politics,” said Christian Sinderman, a top Democratic political consultant.

Sinderman helped run the campaigns of Sen. Maria Cantwell and Spokane’s Laurie Dolan, who challenged West for his state Senate seat and lost in 2002. Dolan is now a policy adviser to Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire.

The Dolan campaign decided not to use the issue of West’s sexual orientation for political advantage, Sinderman said.

“We decided his personal life wasn’t germane to the campaign because his private life is his private life. It’s not a public issue unless it involves the abuse of power. He was an incumbent with a record. We addressed that, and we lost,” he said.

“Spokane wouldn’t have believed us” if her campaign had tried to bring up West’s sexual orientation, Dolan said.

“People wanted to believe that Jim represented family values,” Dolan added.

Sen. Brad Benson, R-Spokane, said he’s heard rumors in Olympia that West preferred young men. But he and West aren’t close because West supported ex-Sen. Brian Murray, West’s former aide, in the 2004 GOP Senate primary, Benson said.

“The Republicans represent two camps,” Benson said. “One camp is about individual liberty and the economy. For them, whether you’re gay or not doesn’t make a difference. But for the conservative wing, adultery and homosexuality plays bad. They want to look at their leaders and say, these are people we can admire,” Benson said.

Jon Wyss, state committeeman for the GOP from Spokane County, says news of West’s private life comes as a complete shock. “You’re catching me off-guard,” Wyss said Wednesday night. “He’s very talented in what he’s done for the city, the Legislature and the party.”

In a wide-ranging interview Wednesday night, West acknowledged he’d recently begun to seek out young men on the Internet and said he couldn’t explain why. “I don’t want to go into the whole issue, but I wouldn’t characterize me as ‘gay,’.” West said.

While acting pragmatically with moderates and conservatives as a Republican Party leader, West aligned himself with party conservatives on a range of hot-button social issues since 1983, when he first went to Olympia as a newly elected House member.

In 1986, he supported a bill allowing criminal background checks for jobs involving children. The measure was necessary because child abusers “often try to gain a position of trust and authority,” West said in a Spokesman-Review interview at the time.

West and 14 other Republicans reacted strongly to Gov. Booth Gardner’s Christmas Eve 1985 executive order banning discrimination in state hiring based on sexual orientation.

Their 1986 bill, which failed, would have barred gay men and lesbians from working in schools, day-care centers and some state agencies. It called for screening prospective employees for sexual orientation and firing employees whose homosexuality became known.

The bill prompted a Spokesman-Review op-ed column by Jeannette Loehr, spokeswoman for the Spokane Gay Leadership Coalition.

West’s bill is “police-state” legislation that stirs up “the fears of the ignorant and the hatred of the bigoted,” Loehr wrote.

In 1986, West voted to bar the state from distributing pamphlets telling people how to protect themselves from AIDS during sex. He said such instruction “is something people go buy at dirty bookstores.”

West became chairman of the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee in 1990, a key post for legislation involving medicine and public health issues. That year, the Washington State Medical Association named him legislator of the year.

During a 1990 hearing on AIDS education, West proposed that teen sex be criminalized.

The bill, written by the abstinence group Teen Aid, would have made sexual contact – not just sexual intercourse – a misdemeanor for unmarried teenagers 18 or younger. It defined sexual contact as “any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person.”

The bill was ridiculed and got West a lot of negative press, including a National Lampoon Magazine spoof. “Get a Life, Sen. West!” a Seattle newspaper editorialized. But West said he was serious and would push it as far as he could.

“You know, there are a lot of kids out there that want a reason to say no,” he said. The bill died in the Senate on Feb. 1, 1990.

West’s bill was “stupid,” said James Duree, a former Pacific County prosecutor and Democrat who recently retired from private practice. Duree said he wrote to West in 1990, suggesting facetiously that the Legislature pass a law making it a crime for legislators to have sex with one another. “I thought they should stop doing sex in Olympia,” Duree said.

Politicians who take extreme positions on sex are not always what they seem, said Duree, 87.

“I saw people like West when I was a prosecuting attorney,” said Duree. “These people who were so goosy towards sex.….. They’re the ones you’ve got to watch,” he added.

During the Gay.com chat on New Year’s Eve, when West had been Spokane’s mayor for a year, the 18-year-old man who’d had a sexual encounter with West on a date in June 2004 said “you wouldn’t be in the position you are in today if the right-winged supporters knew you like to mess around with guys.”

West replied: “Two consenting adults must have the ability to protect their privacy or else the damn sex Nazis will be telling everyone what to do.”

Phil Talmadge, a former Democratic legislator and Washington Supreme Court justice, served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when West was in the Senate. He’s now in private practice in Tukwila, Wash.

Talmadge said he’d heard the rumors about West’s sexual orientation when he was in the Senate but didn’t know whether they were accurate.

“The rumors were there, but none of us knew and it didn’t really make any difference to us,” Talmadge said.

The Seattle liberal said he clashed with West on gay rights and other issues, but developed a “grudging respect” for West’s legislative skills.

“I knew the positions he took publicly, and I think he was pretty aggressive about those positions. I didn’t share his views. I felt a stronger sense of tolerance than he exhibited in his public attitudes about gay people. It was a different viewpoint,” Talmadge said.

On the Judiciary Committee, “people wanted to make criminal virtually everything. It was my job as the chairman to screen the use of the criminal sanction,” Talmadge said. West didn’t serve on that committee, but it served as the gatekeeper for many of the bills regulating sexual conduct that West favored.

Senate Republicans had some aggressive staff members who tried to push the envelope on criminalizing sex, Talmadge said. “We described them as having a prurient interest in prurient interest,” he said with a laugh.

The Judiciary Committee made efforts starting in the mid-1980s to toughen child pornography law and sanctions for sexual offenses against children. But it didn’t go as far as West and some other Republicans would have wanted – including the bill to criminalize teen sex – Talmadge said.

“In the real world, you have two 16-year-olds who engaged in sexual activity and you want to put them both in jail? I think that’s going overboard,” he said. “What we did do is (make it) a crime for someone who’s an adult to have sexual relations with kids,” he said.

In 1995, when allegations of sexual harassment involving Democratic Gov. Mike Lowry and a female aide were published in an independent counsel’s report, West called on the House to launch impeachment proceedings against Lowry.

“The governor should not be held to any lower standard than anyone else in our society. Governors cannot and should not flout the law,” West said. He was dressed down by his own caucus for making the proposal without consulting other Republican leaders.

As a Senate leader, West consistently opposed efforts to expand civil rights protections for gays in jobs and housing. In an interview Wednesday, he said he’s philosophically opposed to legislation that creates “special classes” of rights for minorities, including gays. “I don’t think you should discriminate against anybody. I have never been outspoken against gays, and I’ve never discriminated against gays,” West said, adding that he felt the gay rights bills were unnecessary.

In February 1998, West voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, a ban on gay marriage. Gov. Lowry vetoed the measure, but the veto was overridden and Washington became the 27th state to enact such a ban.

Also in 1998, West got into legal trouble after leaving a threatening voice mail on the telephone recording machine of building industry lobbyist Tom McCabe. “You son of a bitch, you better get me, ’cause if you don’t you’re dead,” a screaming West said on the tape.

West spent $20,000 in legal fees on the ensuing criminal misdemeanor charge. He paid $500 to an Olympia charity and apologized to McCabe in an agreement with the prosecutor’s office in Olympia. He also apologized in a letter to the Spokane community for his outburst.

West’s temper tantrum against McCabe was symptomatic of a conflicted man, said Sinderman, the Democratic political consultant. “West is tortured. He screams his way into power. I have a combination of empathy and distaste for him,” he said.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a Seattle Democrat and University of Washington sociology instructor, saw West’s temper and his fervent opposition to gay rights up close in March 2003. He was Senate majority leader and she was introducing a resolution in favor of International Women’s Day.

“The first part had to do with honoring women of all races and sexual preferences. It was the same language we’d used in past years, and it never had been a problem,” Kohl-Welles recalled.

When the clerk read the resolution, West approached her on the Senate floor.

“He demanded that I pull it right then. I said, what’s wrong? He said it’s this phrase, you can’t do this. The phrase was ‘sexual orientation.’.”

“I was shaken up,” Kohl-Welles said. “The Democrats were in the minority. He said if you don’t (pull it), you’ll never be able to introduce anything else.” West told her the Republican caucus was upset over the language.

Kohl-Welles withdrew the resolution and checked its legislative history – discovering that many Republicans had voted for similar language in previous resolutions that had passed.

West apologized and the resolution passed the next day, Kohl-Welles said.

“He’s quick to react, but then he processes it in his own mind and apologizes,” she added.

West also clashed with Sen. Cal Anderson, an openly gay Seattle legislator who tried repeatedly to pass a gay anti-discrimination bill in the 1990s. Anderson died of AIDS in August 1995.

A similar bill sponsored by Anderson’s friend and political ally, Democratic Rep. Ed Murray, of Seattle, failed last month by one vote on the floor of the Senate. When West was Senate majority leader in 2003, his colleague Sen. Bob McCaslin, R-Spokane Valley, refused to allow a hearing on Murray’s bill – which had passed the House by a wide margin – and West said he considered it dead.

It’s wrong for politicians who are privately gay or bisexual to take strong anti-gay stances, said Eric Ishino, who was Anderson’s partner. Ishino is the chief financial analyst for the city of Seattle’s legislative department.

“It really bothers me,” Ishino said. “I don’t necessarily believe in the outing of closeted individuals. But when they are so vocal against gays and lesbians, I am torn. It’s really hurting a lot of people, especially gay youth, who are struggling with so many issues,” he said, citing the high suicide rate among gay teens.

Closeted gay conservatives tend to suffer from self-hatred, Ishino said.

“They also feel (political) support will come from them taking a very strong stand on this issue,” he added.

West has been no friend to Spokane’s gay community, said Dean Lynch, a former Spokane city councilman and the city’s first openly gay politician.

Spokane’s gay and lesbian community has “general knowledge that Jim West is a closeted gay man,” but they are quiet because of the “tremendous power that he wields,” Lynch said in an e-mail from Nicaragua, where he is working on a community development project.

West in Wednesday’s interview said he wants no part of the “extreme liberal agenda” of many gay activists. “There are conservative gays in the world that don’t buy into this whole liberal agenda, and they don’t need it,” West said.

The gay community is conflicted over whether someone should be “outed” because of the potentially grave consequences, Lynch said.

However, “when a gay individual is in a position of influence and uses that influence to harm other members of the gay community, then outing that person is justified,” Lynch said.

Marvin Reguindin, an openly gay businessman who owns a graphic design company in downtown Spokane, said he doesn’t know whether West is gay but agrees with Lynch on the outing issue.

“For a politician to be (privately) gay and to be so anti-gay is an abuse of power,” Reguindin said.

Reguindin is active in the Inland Northwest Business Alliance, a group of gay and gay-supportive businesses working on a proposal for a gay business district in Spokane.

When he moved here from California for a job in a conservative advertising firm 14 years ago, Reguindin said he went “back in the closet.” Now that he owns his own business, he’s slowly becoming more visible. But there’s still a danger in coming out in a conservative community like Spokane, and anti-gay rhetoric from politicians increases the risk, Reguindin said.

“The gay community is going through a lot of persecution now, especially from the Republicans and the Christian right,” he added.

As Spokane’s mayor, West recently said he’d veto a proposal to extend city benefits to unmarried domestic partners at City Hall, citing its cost. But the City Council last month approved the measure on a 5-2 vote, enough to withstand a mayoral veto.

West’s Democratic opponents in Spokane have heard rumors about West’s personal life but had few specifics that would point to an abuse of power, said Jan Polek, who ran a vigorous campaign against him in 1990.

Polek attacked West for his opposition to abortion rights and accused him of bringing ridicule to Spokane with the teen sex bill.

During the campaign, Polek said she received two anonymous calls from Spokane mothers who accused West of abusing their sons in the Boy Scouts years earlier. But they declined to come forward with more specifics, she said. Polek said she was extremely troubled by the calls.

“They felt so strongly that they just wanted me to know. But there was nothing we could do with the information,” she said.

During the campaign, rumors about West’s sexual orientation kept recurring, Polek said.

“I think it’s been common knowledge for some people over the years but they were hesitant to do anything about it. They felt if they didn’t have every piece of evidence they needed they could be retaliated against,” Polek said.

In February 1990, during the West-Polek campaign, West proposed marriage from the floor of the Senate to Ginger Marshall, formerly of Spokane. She had come to Olympia that day with the Junior League of Spokane to watch the proceedings.

It’s “commonly accepted” in Spokane’s gay community that West’s highly public wedding proposal “was merely a sham to cover his identity,” Lynch said.

Marshall could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

West’s proposal got a standing ovation and made headlines in New York and London.

West won the election against Polek with 53 percent of the vote. His marriage ended five years later. The divorce was filed in Lincoln County.

In his 2002 campaign against Dolan, West accused the School District 81 administrator of having “Seattle values,” but ducked a Seattle newspaper columnist who wanted him to explain what he meant.

“That was a way to frighten Spokane voters, even though I was a wife and a mother. It was an unfair representation of who I am,” Dolan said.

With control of the Senate in the balance, the West-Dolan campaign became the most expensive in state history.

In April 2003, West stunned the Legislature by revealing he had colon cancer. He returned to his job as Senate majority leader a month later after surgery. Four months later, he announced his race for mayor of Spokane – a position he said was a “lifetime dream.” He said his powerful political connections would help the city.

“When you think life is short, you do what you want to do,” he said in an August 2003 Spokesman-Review profile. He also said he had little private life because he’d dedicated his life to public service.

“My private life? It’s public. I don’t have much of a private life,” West said.

After the November 2003 election, West had another round of cancer surgery. But he has continued to work hard as Spokane’s mayor.

West also has harbored ambitions to be Washington’s governor.

In March 1991, he opposed a term limits bill for legislators that would limit them to 12 years in office. He said the bill wouldn’t affect him. “Twelve years from now, I’ll be halfway through my first term as governor,” West said.

While that prediction didn’t pan out, West was still talking recently about being governor.

In an April 9 Internet chat, West sent his photo to “Moto-Brock,” the person he believed was an 18-year-old Spokane high school senior. Instead, Moto-Brock was a forensic computer consultant hired by the newspaper to verify the mayor’s identity and presence on Gay.com.

According to the Internet dialogue with the consultant, West repeated his earlier offer of an internship at City Hall for Moto-Brock.

West told Moto-Brock he had to be extremely careful about not revealing “a part of my life I don’t share at all,” the transcripts show.

“Someday I may run for governor and this would be bad if you know what I mean.”

Karen Dorn Steele can be reached at (509) 459-5462 or by e-mail at karend@spokesman.com.

Interview with Robert J. Galliher

May 18, 2005

© The Spokesman-Review 2005

The following is a full transcription of an interview between Spokesman-Review reporter Bill Morlin and Robert J. Galliher, conducted April 20, 2005. Note: This transcript contains explicit language.

Morlin: My name is Bill Morlin and I'm a reporter with The Spokesman-Review and I'm interviewing Robert J. Galliher. I'm tape recording this with your knowledge and consent. Is that right, Rob?

Rob: Yes.

Q: So, now, on the record, let's start with the beating you say you suffered in the Spokane County Jail in 2003 after the first story about you appeared in The Spokesman-Review. What specifically did the corrections officers tell you?
A: Just that I wasn't going to disgrace their police department or sheriff's department, you know, like I was trying to do.

Q: What sort of injuries did you suffer in that beating?
A: My right eye was swollen shut. My left eye was blackened. I had a cut above my right eye. Had a little cut on my elbow.

Q: And was there blood in your urine for several days?
A: Yes, when I went out to Geiger Corrections, I sought medical out there and I had blood in my urine for a couple weeks.

Q: Couple of weeks after the beating you passed blood in your urine, is that what you're telling me?
A: Yes, that's what I'm telling you.

Q: OK, and in your mind, and I don't want to lead you here, is it your opinion that you were beaten in jail because you had been quoted in the newspaper article?
A: Yeah, that's what I believe, yes.

Q: And the people that beat you, at least one or more of them made reference to the article?
A: Not specific reference to it, just reference to me disgracing their police department over the article.

Q: In reference you suing or talking about bringing a lawsuit against David Hahn?
A: Yes.

Q: Which you subsequently did in a few months later?
A: Yes.

Q: Then in the Fall of '03 you were at Geiger. And you had a visitor out there, I understand. First of all, before you had the visitor, you were called down and talked to by one of your probation officers. Could you tell me about that and what occurred there?
A: I was called down by Robin Butcher who is my case load manager, corrections officer. She told me, I'm not sure if the police department had gotten a hold of her, or Mike Pannek. Mike Pannek is the director. Mike Pannek had called her and told her to talk to me about not having any contact or saying anything about Jim West or the police department had been notified and they would file felony criminal harassment charges against me if I said anything about him.

Q: At that point had you said anything about Jim West?
A: No.

Q: Why were they leveling this threat at you?
A: I'm not really sure. Obviously, Jim West was afraid that something was going to be said about him. I'm not really sure why.

Q: Did there come a time, had you mailed any threats or mailed any communications or phone calls to Jim West at all at that point?
A: No.

Q: You had had no communication with him at all?
A: No.

Q: You're only reference to this subject matter has been what you've been quoted on in the newspaper, is that right?
A: Yes.

Q: That involved Deputy David Hahn, who had taken his own life?
A: Yes.

Q: The following day, did you then have a visitor out at Geiger?
A: Yeah, and actually not sure if it was, I think it was actually backwards. I think he came out there first, and then they called me down.

Q: So you think he showed up before you got the threat?
A: Yeah.

Q: But at some point he shows up out there.
A: Yeah.

Q: Tell me about that.
A: Well they called me down to the visiting over there at Geiger. The visiting you kinda walk over there by yourself, it's in a separate building but you're not escorted over there. I got a call down to the desk pretty late after visiting was over.

Q: Visiting ends at 9:45 p.m. So it was after 9:45 p.m.?
A: It was right around 10:30.

Q: Had you gone to bed?
A: Well, yeah, cause lights out is at 11 o'clock, so I was pretty much laying in bed, yeah. They called me down there and told me I was wanted over in visiting, which you're not escorted over there, you just go out the back door, and there's a fence on either side of the sidewalk, and you walk over to the visiting building. I walked over there and Jim West was there by himself. No one else. There was someone back in the office, but I'm not sure who it was.

Q: Were you between glass, or were you both in the contact area?
A: Between glass.

Q: And did you have to pick up a phone to talk with each other? There's a screen there, isn't there?

Q: Tell me what occurred next.
A: Well, he just, he, I mean I just kinda looked at him. I was kind of in shock. Then he made some type of comment about you know I better keep quiet about, or not say anything to harm his…. I'm really not sure what the exact words were. Just that I better keep quiet about anything that's going on.

Q: Did you remember Jim West? Is that a face you'd seen at some other time in your life?
A: Yeah.

Q: Tell me about that.
A: Back at, when Dave Hahn was molesting me, I saw him back them.

Q: Which is when you were in the fifth or sixth grade?
A: Yes.

Q: About how old would you have been then?
A: Sometime around, I mean I was in between the age of nine and 11 or 12.

Q: Tell me how was it you became introduced to Jim West?
A: Through Dave Hahn.

Q: And where was that to the best of your recollection?
A: The first time was up at his apartment, up at Dave's apartment.

Q: And his apartment was where?
A: Up on 29th and Regal.

Q: Tell me about that, just give me a brief description about what occurred. Why were you there at the apartment with David Hahn?
A: David Hahn used to take me and my brother out. He was kind of a father figure in our lives when we were younger. Started out that way. Then shortly after that he started molesting me.

Q: Some of the molestations occurred at his apartment, is that right?
A: Yeah.

Q: When you were introduced to Jim West there, had you already been a victim of molestation by David Hahn?
A: Yeah.

Q: What happened then on that first day you met Jim West at David Hahn's apartment?
A: Dave ended up leaving me there with Jim West and Jim West ended up molesting me. Just grabbing my penis, fondling me, making me fondle him. Some oral sex, if you call it that.

Q: And he forced you to do this?
A: Yes.

Q: Did he tell you he was a sheriff's deputy?
A: I don't know if he did, or if Dave did.

Q: You knew he was a cop?
A: Yeah.

Q: What time of day was it?
A: It was early, sometime around noon, afternoon. I was there with him for about an hour.

A: I'm not exactly sure. Yeah, he just told me I need, I better not tell anyone about this. I mean, kind of the same threats that Dave Hahn had told me.

Q: At the point, you had not told your mother or brother, or anybody about what was happening to you, is that right?
A: Yes. That's correct.

Q: Was Jim West in uniform or was he in plain clothes when this happened?
A: Plain clothes.

Q: So number one. How many other occasions did you have that sort of contact with Jim West?
A: Probably three that I can remember.

Q: Let's go to number two. What's your best recollection where episode number two happened and how much longer after number one was that?
A: Again, I'm not sure on the time frame. I mean, you know it was a long time ago and I'm not exactly sure. And I'm not exactly sure of the order they happened in. You know I can just remember that some of the instances. One of them was at a Boy Scout function, like pine wood derby, something similar to that.

Q: Where was it at?
A: I think it was at Broadway Elementary.

Q: Was that a school?
A: Yeah.

Q: Out in the Valley? And you were racing pine wood, these little miniature wooden cars?
A: Yeah.

Q: Were you a participant there or taken there to watch them?
A: Yeah I was a participant.

Q: Then what happened there? Was it after the event?
A: Yeah, after the event.

Q: What happened?
A: He went to his car.

Q: He being?
A: Jim West.

Q: He took you out to his private vehicle?
A: Yeah.

Q: What kind of car was that?
A: I'm not sure.

Q: What happened?
A: Pretty much the same thing, he molested me. You know, fondling again, just pretty much the same thing. Him making me perform, you know, acts on him and that's pretty much it.

Q: He again was off duty when this happened? He was in his private vehicle?
A: Yes.

Q: What were the other occasions, if you remember the particulars?
A: There was one, there used to a dirt track where we rode our bicycles.

A: There was Chapter 11 on Sprague.

Q: On East Sprague? And this was an empty lot where INAUDIBLE?
A: I remember it was kind of a long ways from my house. I mean it was actually only probably two or three miles, but back then it was like across town, and I'd only gone there, I mean, a couple of times. And I was leaving there, and he pulled up in his car, the police car that time.

Q: He's in a green deputy's uniform now?
A: Yeah.

Q: He just happens to see you there, or did he?
A: I'm not sure. No, because you can't really see it from the road, I mean, I'm not sure if was coming back there looking for someone else, or, I'm not exactly sure how he ended up there.

Q: What happened then?
A: That time he put my bike in the trunk and gave me a ride home. Not home, close to home and stopped on the way, somewhere and parked, and did the same thing again.

Q: Sheriff's car?
A: Yes.

Q: No mistake about that?
A: No.

Q: He again molests you. So that's occasion number three, not that there's necessarily a sequence here. And what were the other occasions? You say there's at least four occasions?
A: The other one, he picked me down at East Bowl, the bowling alley we always used to hang out and he picked me up there one time.

Q: Tell me about that episode, Rob.
A: There was a bunch of us that always used to hang out at the bowling alley. He showed up one night when I was leaving and the same thing. He picked me up in his police car.

Q: This was again (INAUDIBLE) You knew him?
A: I knew him from Dave. I mean, and I'm not sure why I would go with him, I really don't know.

Q: Well you were a boy then and you're a man now. You had the brain power of a child at the time and here's cop showing up. What did you call him? What did you refer to his as? Did you call him Jim, on a first name basis?
A: I believe so, uh-huh.

Q: What happened?
A: I'm not even really sure if I ever called him by a name.

Q: How had Hahn, let's go back to the East Bowl thing. So what happens, he picks you up at East Bowl while you're hanging out there with so of your buddies? Was Brett there that night?
A: No, cause Brett was a few years old than me, so he hung out there at a time also. But by the time I got there, he'd moved on, he was in junior or high, or whatever. We really didn't hang out together there.

Q: So this East Bowl thing, is this in the evening at your best recollection?
A: Yes.

Q: What happened, just give me the brief description on what happened then.
A: He just picked me up and drove me somewhere again and molested me.

Q: In the car?
A: Yes.

Q: What did he do with you afterwards?
A: Just dropped me off.

Q: At your home?
A: Yeah.

Q: I don't want to lead you, what did he tell you? Or did he tell you anything?
A: He just told me, I'm not really sure exactly what his … I just remember threats about going to jail and stuff like that. Taking my family to jail or something like that.

Q: It's terrible for me to even ask this question, but what's going through the head of a fifth grader when a cop is molesting you like that?
A: I couldn't really speak for everyone, but for me …

Q: What's going through your head?
A: For me, I think it was probably that someone is paying attention to me. I didn't have a father around, and sometimes negative affection is better than no affection at all.

Q: Do you feel that what happened to you then at the hands of David Hahn and Jim West have left lifelong scars on you?
A: I do know, yeah.

Q: Tell me about that.
A: It's kind of hard to describe. It's INAUDIBLE every day. It's pretty much all I think about now especially bringing it back up. I didn't really, especially being sober. Now. My whole life I've been using drugs, and drinking and never really knew why. And I never really thought about what had happened. Now that I'm sober, it's different. Now, it's a lot tougher.

Q: There was a time about a week ago that the county attorneys, who are defending the county in this lawsuit, came and asked you some of these same questions that we are talking about today, is that correct?
A: Yes.

Q: Can you just generally characterize for me, how many questions did they ask you about Jim West and his molestation of you?
A: I don't know if I can put a number on it. Just basically what had happened.

Q: You detailed the fact that Jim West had molested you? You detailed that to the county attorneys when they deposed you under oath last week?
A: Yes.

Q: They asked you even though Jim West isn't their client, they asked you questions about being molested by Jim West and David Hahn?
A: Yes.

Q: Did they go into the same sort of details that we've talked about there today?
A: Yes.

Q: In terms of numbers, so you're saying approximately INAUDIBLE
A: With Hahn it was 30 or 40, somewhere around there.

Q: How much, when the molestation by Jim West is occurring, is David Hahn still alive? Did all this happen before David Hahn died? With West, that is?
A: Not really. It was so frequent with Hahn that Jim West was just kind of in and then out. He moved … I don't really remember when he came in and started it, or when he left. It was quite a while before Hahn killed himself, West stopped coming around.

Q: The day he killed himself, he picked you up?
A: Yeah, he picked me up. I believe at a park near our house.

Q: In the Spokane Valley?
A: Yes.

Q: In his car, or in his private vehicle?
A: In his car.

Q: You were playing in the park and he came by, or what happened? Do you recall the particulars?
A: I'm not sure what I was doing up near the park. It was right near our house.

Q: Do you recall the name of the park?
A: Yeah, Terrace View.

Q: Terrace View Park?
A: Yeah.

Q: What happened next?
A: He just picked me up like he normally did and took me up to his apartment.

Q: The apartment was on what street?
A: On 29th and Regal.

Q: On Regal?
A: Yes.

Q: What happened there?
A: Actually, it's on like 31st or something and Regal.

Q: Just across the TV stations up there?
A: Yeah, it's two or three blocks up from 29th.

Q: Can you describe basically what did the apartment look like? Two-story, five-story, etc.)
A: The building or his apartment?

Q: Both.
A: Two-story I believe.

Q: What floor was his apartment on?
A: He was on the bottom floor.

Q: It's a place you've been before?
A: Yeah.

Q: What happened there?
A: He took me into the apartment. He was kind of being, I'm remember he wasn't really being himself that day. He was kind of being quiet. He molested me, just like any other day. I remember I sat while he was on the phone for a while. He was on the phone for quite a while. Then he took me into the bedroom. We were sitting on the bed and he pulled his gun out, which he'd done before. This time he put the gun up to my head.

Q: Put the gun to your head?
A: Yeah.

Q: Why was he doing that?
A: I don't know.

Q: Had he ever done that before?
A: I mean not necessarily to my head, but he'd pull the gun out and point it at me before. He put the guy up to my head, I closed my eyes, and he pulled the trigger. And in between …

Q: He pulled the trigger while it was pointed at your head?
A: No, in between when my eyes were closed, he moved the gun to his head and blew his brains out.

Q: And you were there when this happened?
A: Yeah.

Q: What happened?
A: I just ran.

Q: You ran out the door.
A: Yeah. I don't know what was really going through my head. I walked home, I lived in the Valley, so it was a long walk. I mean it took me, probably almost all night to get home. I went down to the bowling alley where I just hang out and slept in this field down there.

Q: By East Bowl?
A: Yeah.

Q: You didn't even go home that night then?
A: No.

Q: Did you go all the way home and then go to the bowling alley?
A: No, the bowling alley was on the way home.

Q: That's where you usually run into some of your buddies?
A: Yeah.

Q: They weren't there that night?
A: No, it was late, early morning when I got there.

Q: When did you finally go home?
A: Earlier that morning.

Q: What was the scene like, were you aware, was there any doubt in your mind that he'd kill himself when you saw this happen?
A: I'm not really sure, not really. I really didn't stick around and check out, you know, anything, I just left.

Q: So you're sitting on the bed side by side, is that right?
A: Yes.

Q: Is he on the right or the left of you?
A: The right, I believe.

Q: He was on your right?
A: Yeah.

Q: He puts the gun to your head?
A: Yes.

Q: What was he saying? What was the last thing he said to you?
A: He didn't really say anything. He just told me to come in there and sit down and I did. I was young, I really didn't say anything to him. I really didn't have any conversations with him.

Q: Did he ever offer you money, or food, or drugs in exchange ….?
A: Drugs he did.

Q: David Hahn?
A: Yeah.

Q: What kind of drugs?
A: Marijuan

Q: Would you smoke marijuana at his apartment with him?
A: He'd give it to me to take with me.

Q: Small quantities?
A: Yeah.

Q: A reefer, or just a baggy or what?
A: Once or twice a baggy with a little bit in it. A couple times a pipe loaded. He's just give me the pipe to take.

Q: So this particular day he's on your right side. Do you think he's going to shoot you?
A: Not really, I don't think. Because he'd done it before, like I said, and I thought it was just more of a scare, maybe a scare tactic, or something to tell me to be quiet, keep quiet about it.

Q: So you're sitting there with your eyes shut, and how much time goes by?
A: I'm not really, not much.

Q: What happens next?
A: Then he pulled the trigger.

Q: You heard gun fire?
A: Yeah.

Q: What happens when you open your eyes?
A: He was laying there, bleeding.

Q: Was he fully clothed, partially clothed, naked, what was he wearing?
A: I don't remember the clothing. INAUDIBLE

Q: Did it occur to you to stick around and call police or anything?
A: No, I don't think so, no.

Q: That thought didn't cross your mind? Why's that?
A: I'm not really sure. My only thought was to get out of there.

Q: Have any investigators for the sheriff's department or anyone else ever ask you or interviewed you about this topic?
A: No.

Q: Do you find this unusual?
A: No, because no one ever knew he was molesting me either. As far as I know. Well, actually, they might have. I'm not really sure. The whole thing happened, and then it was over and done with and nothing ever happened to him.

Q: Did you ever confide in anyone that you were there when he killed himself?
A: No.

Q: You never told anyone? You wrote about it in the letter.
A: Yeah.

Q: Tell me about writing that letter. When and where did you write that letter?
A: I wrote that letter when I was in prison, just because of everything that had gone on. I'm back in prison, I got time, I'm not really doing anything, so I wanted to see about getting some help for myself while I was sitting there. I read this book Abused Boys.

Q: This letter is written on January 15, 2004 and you wrote it from a jail cell while you were at Coyote Ridge in Connell, Washington?
A: Actually I wrote it when I was at Shelton.

Q: In Shelton?
A: Yes.

Q: How would you come across the book Abused Boys.
A: One of the people who worked in the chapel gave it to me.

Q: You read the book?
A: Yeah.

Q: What did you think of the book?
A: I thought it was a good book. It pretty much covered a lot of areas. A lot of it didn't pertain to me, but a lot of it did.

Q: You could see yourself being referenced in the book?
A: Yeah. So I was kinda just writing this more for just myself, but then I wrote. .. I finished writing this to this doctor that had wrote the book.

Q: This is Mic Hunter?
A: Yeah.

Q: So you got his name by reading the book?
A: Yeah.

Q: Did you mail it to Mic Hunter?
A: Yes.

Q: From the prison?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you hear back from Mic Hunter?
A: Yes.

Q: What did he tell you when he responded?
A: I think he gave me a couple of people that I could get a hold of. He really didn't say much of anything.

Q: Do you still have his response?
A: Yes.

Q: You do? Do you have that back here?
A: It's actually at work. In a box at work, but I still have it.

Q: I would be interested, at your brother's shop?
A: Yeah.

Q: If you could get me a copy, or mail me a copy, I'd like to see that. Because I'm going to call him and we'll talk about that in a minute. So you sort of laid out this whole story including the fact that you were there when Hahn killed himself, the fact that you'd been abused by both West and Hahn.
A: Yeah. This was the first time I told anyone a lot of this and the reason I was telling him this was because, like I said, he was a doctor. He's written a lot of books and I figured he would be able to give me some kind of help. I didn't really want to hold anything back from him because it was kind of the first time I really pursued any type of help.

Q: Did you follow up on the advice he gave you? Did you contact any of the people he suggested?
A: No, because where I was at I didn't have access. He gave me e-mail, place to email, but I didn't have any access to email.

Q: So you specifically either been given or sought out or had the ability or funds to get the sort of help he suggested you get over this issue?
A: I've started seeking it out, but I haven't had the funds or the support of anyone. I've talked to, you know I'm on probation, I'm on parole or whatever, I've talked to my probation officer about any kind help he can give me. The way they do it in prison is they have a risk management assessment of you while you're in there and it's scored from one through four, or actually A through E I think, E being the least likely to reoffend, or the least aggressive probation, or whatever. A being the worst. And from what I know you're supposed to, I'm an RMA (risk management aide), so I'm the most likely to reoffend. They consider me the worst of the worst, which I really don't think I'm that bad.

Q: You've never been convicted of any violent crime?
A: Yes, I have.

Q: That was what?
A: That was a second degree robbery.

Q: A second degree robbery?
A: When I was, in 1981, or end of 1982. Beginning of '82 I believe.

Q: Which would have been right after this whole episode of Hahn happened?
A: Yes. Anyway, I'm supposed to have some sort of resources available to me being at the risk management level I'm at and so far I haven't received any help.

Q: So the state has done nothing to help you?
A: Nothing.

Q: Why is it, I want to jump back to the Geiger episode. When Jim West showed up out there, there's no doubt in your mind that when he showed up out there and sent the message to you that the article had already been published about David Hahn. Is that right?
A: Yes.

Q: It was after that article he shows up and sends you the message?
A: Yes.

Q: Why, in your opinion was it that he sent you that message and leveled that threat at you?
A: To keep me quiet. Obviously, I guess around the time he was running for office. Yeah, to keep me quiet.

Q: Did it work?
A: Oh yeah, yeah.TAPE NUMBER 2 BEGINS

Q: Were talking about why Jim West came out to Geiger and why he sent the threat to you? You're not sure which occurred first, whether Butcher talked to you or whether West came out, but both occurred?
A: Yes.

Q: Where did counselor Robin Butcher talk to you about this?
A: In her office.

Q: In her office at Geiger?
A: Yes.

Q: Just go over that conversation. You were called down there. Just tell me what happened in that conversation.
A: She told me she received a call from Mike Pannek who is the director or superintendent and he received a call from, I'm not sure if it was actually from Jim West or from the police department. She made reference to the police department had been notified and if I made any threatening comments or just if I said anything about Jim West he would file criminal harassment against me or something to that effect and to just stay away from me, which I really didn't have any access to him anyway.

Q: You previously told me that you were essentially being told to keep your mouth shut. Can you tell me that in your words?
A: Yes. Exactly. I was being told to keep my mouth shut or they would file charges against me.

Q: Did you say they also threatened to throw you in the hole or he had friends in the prison system that would see to it that you were thrown in the hole?
A: I'm not sure if that was said or not, I'm not really sure.

Q: But they told you to keep your mouth shut or you would face additional criminal charges?
A: Yes.

Q: How was it that Jim West found out that you were at Geiger?
A: That I'm not sure.

Q: Speculate for me. How would they find out where you're at?
A: I had just been arrested. It could have been through any number of people.

Q: Wouldn't that indicate, though, that he probably had either somebody in the police department…. How would he know you've just been arrested? That wasn't in the paper, was it?
A: It probably was.

Q: You have no idea how he found out where you're at?
A: No.

Q: Back to the deposition, what surprised you about the line of questioning from the county attorneys?
A: I'm not really sure if anything really surprised me. I know he was trying to focus more on Jim West than he was on Hahn.

Q: Why's that?
A: Probably because Jim West is still alive and Hahn is not.

Q: Obviously Jim West is not his client, but David Hahn was.
A: I'm not really sure.

Q: Were they surprised about you revealing that you'd been molested also by Jim West? I'm asking for your opinion.
A: He didn't act surprised, no.

Q: Who was present for that, and was that the first time you officially told anybody from Spokane County about being molested by Jim West?
A: Yeah, I believe so.

Q: But this letter of yours has been turned over to the county, is that right?
A: It has now.

Q: So they know through to the letter and your deposition that you were molested by Jim West?
A: Yes.

Q: And there's no doubt in your mind about what you're telling us?
A: No.

Q: The question is going to come, they're going to say, well, this individual was interviewed by this reporter two years ago. Why didn't you tell me two years ago that you were molested by Jim West?
A: Because at that time I hadn't told anyone. I mean it just wasn't. I'm really not sure. I was still afraid of him, for one. I mean, he held a pretty high job. He's not, someone in my position, wanted really anything to do with him. I really just didn't want anything to do with him. It's easier to talk about someone who's dead then it is someone who still holds a high office like that and has power over you

Q: What did you think when he was elected mayor of Spokane?
A: I thought it was pretty sick, that he's coming back to Spokane after what he'd done there.

Q: How many other boys, are you aware of any other boys that he may have molested?
A: Yeah, one other.

Q: Who is that?
A: Michael Grant.

Q: What can you tell me about that?
A: He told me he had a run in with Jim West when he was a young boy.

Q: Did he give you any specifics?
A: He told me about an instance where he was, him and a couple other boys had been throwing rocks at an abandoned house at the windows, and breaking the windows, and somehow West had shown up. I suppose someone called the police and West had shown up.

Q: Was this in the Spokane Valley also?
A: Yes, I believe so. He didn't really give me the exact location.

Q: Did he say how old he was at the time?
A: No, he said he was in… he might be a couple of years older than me.

Q: This is Michael Grant?
A: Yes.

Q: Did he give you any time frame as to when this happened?
A: No, back in the early 80s, late 70s, early 80s.

Q: What did he say happened, or did he give you the particulars?
A: He just told me West had picked him up and molested him. The other boy, they'd ridden away from the house where they were breaking the windows, and he'd got stopped leaving and that he'd been molested by him.

Q: That he was stopped by himself?
A: Yeah.

Q: Molested by Jim West on duty in a sheriff's car?
A: Yes.

Q: When was it Michael Grant tell you that?
A: 2003.

Q: Where? Were you both locked up together?
A: Yes.

Q: What facility?
A: Geiger.

Q: At Geiger? You met him while you were at Geiger?
A: Yes.

Q: Was this before or after West showed up out there?
A: Before.

Q: Did you know Michael Grant prior to that?
A: No.

Q: He's just an inmate you bump into?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you know where his current whereabouts?
A: No I don't.

Q: Do you know where he's from? Or how I can find him?
A: No, he said he was living down in Omak or somewhere up north with his mother.

Q: Is he Native American?
A: He might be, I'm not really sure. He was there for a couple of days, he got moved to a different building and I never really saw him again and didn't really have any contact with him after that.

Q: The night the mayor showed up out there, when you went back to your cell, were there other inmates in the cell with you?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you tell them either that night or the next morning about who had come to see you?
A: Yes.

Q: Tell me what you told them.
A: They scattered. They really didn't want anything to with me.

Q: You told them that Jim West had come out to see you?
A: Yeah.

Q: And are they believing you?
A: Yeah, they believed me cause I was called down there and I came back 15 minutes later and told them what had happened and they pretty much didn't want anything to do with me just because of his position. They wouldn't even been seen outside with me or anything. Here they are making comments about different vans parked around the perimeter and someone taking a shot at me or something. It was in kind of a joking manner, but on the other hand, they were serious about it too. Because they were kind of staying away from me.

Q: They were freaked out about this guy, this powerful guy coming out there and threatening you?
A: Absolutely?

Q: Is that what you're saying?
A: Yeah.

Q: What's your current state of mind regarding Jim West? Are you still fearful of him?
A: Absolutely.

Q: INAUDIBLE tell that
A: I mean it's hard to explain, I'm just paranoid. I don't know if it's due to mental problems. I just look around all the time, when I'm out on my deck smoking cigarettes, I'm always wondering if someone through the trees is watching me. I can't concentrate at work, it's just hard to perform anything.

Q: Other than David Hahn and Jim West, were there any sheriff's department personnel that you were aware that molested you or other boys that you are aware of?
A: No, not that I'm aware of.
A: The only other thing is you mentioned Dave Hahn had given me drugs, marijuana, Jim West had also, up at Dave Hahn's house. He gave me a pipe.

Q: Did he smoke it too?
A: No.

Q: Like a little treat, like a little reward.
A: Yeah, exactly.

Q: How many times did Jim West give you marijuana?
A: Just once that I know of specifically. The other times, I know he did one time, the first time I met him. I don't know if he did another pipe full or sometimes a little tiny bit in a baggie. Not much, nothing more than a couple bowls.

Q: Did they give you any indication where, Hahn or West, where they were getting these drugs?
A: No.

Q: Where do you think they were getting the drugs?
A: Probably off people they pulled over and confiscated their stash. That's the only thing that I can think of. They never smoked it with me, so I don't think they were using themselves.

Q: Did you smoke the stuff yourself?
A: Yes.

Q: If was the real stuff?
A: Yes.

Q: It wasn't tobacco? You're sure of that?
A: Yeah.

Q: That was on one occasion he gave you that.?
A: That I can recall him actually giving it to me, yes.

Q: One other thing and I want to take these separately. How did David Hahn respond to you in terms of gentleness and aggressiveness and kindness and how did he threaten to keep you quiet?
A: He was always real nice and kind and it was probably because we had a longer term relationship. He was coming around for the three or four years, pretty frequently. He was probably nicer because he knew he was coming back. As far as threats and what not, he threatened to put my family in jail, putting handcuffs on me.

Q: If you ever talked?
A: He was a little more aggressive, not friendly. He just wasn't kind, not really sure how to explain it.

Q: A little more physical and more aggressive and less gentle? Is that what you're saying?
A: Yes.

Q: What would you like to see happen now? Should the public, in your view, know about the history of our mayor and know what he did to you and possibly other boys?
A: Yeah, I believe they should know. I'm not sure how it's going to go over. I'm just not sure. It's hard to explain. I've gone through so much over this that it really doesn't matter what else happens. It's over and done with. I mean it would be nice if something happened about this because he really doesn't deserve to hold that office.

Q: What if he was still in the state Senate?
A: Yeah, he doesn't deserve to hold any public office.

Q: In your view, has he gotten away with the secret for over a quarter century then?
A: He's gotten away with it, yeah.

Q: For 25 years?
A: Yeah.

Q: Your mother is going to know where you're at, if I need to get back to you. She'll always have a phone number for you?
A: Yeah.

Q: I've agreed to talk to (attorney) John Allison, and you've really said nothing here pertaining to your legal status.

Q: INAUDIBLE - ask about Jonny Quest

Q: In the letter you likened Jim West to Jonny Quest. Tell me about the Jonny Quest.
A: Just because of the name.

Q: Jim West, Jonny Quest, they sound the same?
A: Yeah. When you were a young kid, and Jonny Quest would come up …

Q: Jonny Quest was a cool cartoon, but I used to hate that. Bring up a frickin' cartoon now, the name was almost the same, and the name would bring up his memory. It was pretty much a name link.

Q: There's no characters in the cartoon that reminded you of Jim? It's just the name?
A: It's just a name.

Q: You specifically remember that? And it was a cartoon at that same time would be watching on TV?
A: I used to watch cartoons all the time and that one would come on and it would just make me sick.(UNSUBSTANTIATED ALLEGATIONS REDACTED)

Q: Based on those beatings, based on the cars outside the apartment, based on the beating in the jail, based on a prominent official showing up at Geiger, which is a county facility, do you believe your civil rights have been violated?
A: Absolutely. Q, Tell me that in your words.
A: I just think I was intimidated into not saying anything. Even with all the physical abuse that I did receive from them, just their presence and the sheriff's body as a whole can intimate you without actually doing anything to you, without physical contact. Maybe it's because of what's happened to me, that I feel that way, or maybe it's the truth. I'm not really sure.

Q: You believe as we sit here today your civil rights were violated?
A: Yes.

Q: Give me that in a sentence.
A: I believe my civil rights have been violated by the sheriff's department, by the corrections department out at Geiger who told me not to say anything, by Jim West, by the jailers at the county jail who beat me.

Q: At some point you were held, I understand, in the jail, without clothes and deprived of a toothbrush for about a two-week period. Tell me about that.
A: I'm not sure if it was two weeks. It was more like maybe a week after this beating took place I was taken up to the hole on six east. I put in numerous kites to see medical, which no one ever responded to. This was after I'd been beaten up, I'm peeing blood, my eye's swollen shut, the other one's bruised up. I put in three or four grievances, which are a formal complaint against the jail which they are supposed to answer, whether it's valid or not, they're supposed to give you a response. Never heard anything about that. They didn't give me any blankets, no bedding.

Q: You're held stripped naked in a cell?
A: Yeah.

Q: Were you on suicide watch?
A: No.

Q: Why did they tell you they were holding you like that?
A: They didn't have to give you any reason. They don't have to say anything to you and they don't.

Q: Were you given meals?
A: Yeah.Q, You were given meals and water, but no toothpaste or hygiene, were you allowed to shower?
A: Not the first week, I don't think. They moved me downstairs after that. It might have been two weeks, actually.

Q: So for my purposes, how long do you believe you were held in this cell?
A: I know I was held for at least week.

Q: And maybe as long as two weeks?
A: Yeah.

Q: This was immediately after the beating?
A: They beat me on the second floor and beat me all the way to the six east, into the jail cell. They beat me in the cell, crammed me underneath the bunk in the cell.

Q: What were they beating you with?
A: Their fists as far as I know. I'm not sure. I tried to have my face covered up.

Q: Were they kicking you?
A: Yeah.

Q: So feet and fists?
A: Yeah.

Q: How many jailers were involved in that?
A: I'm not exactly sure, but I know there were at least three, probably four.

Q: One was female?
A: Two of them might have been female.

Q: Two of them female, and the other male?
A: Yes.

Q: Were there witnesses to this.
A: Yes.

Q: Do you know the names of some of those witnesses?(NAMES REDACTED)
A: The whole second floor saw them take me down and beat me, right in front, they're all standing at their windows. So whoever was on the second floor on that particular day and that time probably saw it. I didn't have any access to get any names other than people coming up to me and saying I saw it and I wrote those names down.

Q: It was your mother who asked for and got the FBI investigation?A, Yes.

Q: Have you seen the results of that investigation?
A: No.

Q: Did Agent (NAME REDACTED) interview you?
A: Yes.

Q: Where at?
A: Out at Geiger.

Q: That would have been in the Fall of '03?
A: Yes.

Interview with Michael Grant

May 18, 2005

© The Spokesman-Review 2005

The following is a full transcription of an interview between Spokesman-Review reporter Bill Morlin and Michael George Grant Jr., conducted April 26, 2005, in a central Washington jail. Note: This transcript contains explicit language.

Morlin: My name is Bill Morlin and I'm a reporter for The Spokesman-Review. I'm tape recording this interview with Michael George Grant Jr.

Q: We were talking before I turned the tape recorder on about the issue of sexual abuse and people within the sheriff's department. Why don't you tell me what you know about that issue? Did you know David Hahn?
A: Yes.

Q: Tell me how and where you first met David Hahn?
A: He pulled a group of us kids over coming back from a Boy Scout meeting, as a matter of fact.

Q: You were coming back from a Boy Scout meeting?
A: Yes. All in our uniforms. Me and five of us kids, they said we were throwing rocks at windows and so forth.

Q: Where was this at?
A: This was at Spokane, down by Cannon Park.

Q: Was he a sheriff's deputy or a city policeman? What year was it, how old were you, if you can remember? Near '84 then? David Hahn or Jim West?

Q: [ INAUDIBLE ] Uniforms?
A: Yep. It's just so vague. Cannon Park, it's a park. I don't know about Cannon Park, sorry.

Q: What happened?
A: He took three of us in the car.

Q: You and two other boys?
A: Me and two other boys. He said he was going to arrest us, said he was going to take us to our moms, yada, yada, yada. Take us back home. I don't know if I can talk about this really.

Q: So what happens? Did he molest you?
A: Yes.

Q: Did he molest the other two boys, also?
A: I don't think so.

Q: Did the other two boys that were there know because …...
A: He let them go.

Q: He let them go? He molested you in the car?
A: In the car, in the backseat of the car.

Q: Which is the prowl car?
A: Which was a sheriff's vehicle, a marked car, green and white.

Q: Was that the first and only time you had met Mr. Hahn?
A: No I met him later.

Q: [ INAUDIBLE ] Spokane Valley? Tell me what happened on that occasion?
A: He said he would hurt my family if anything was to ever come back on him because I was with some other kids and we weren't in Boy Scout uniforms, but obviously he recognized me and pulled us kids over, but he told the other kids to leave.

Q: Were you throwing rocks at a house at this point?
A: No, this point I was not.

Q: You weren't? OK.
A: I was just hanging out with the kids.

Q: This was the late 70s. Where did you live at the time? Were you living with your mother?
A: My mom and I was, very too much feeling [ INAUDIBLE ] I mean I lived with her.

Q: Were you parents separated at that point?
A: Yes.

Q: Were you staying with your dad? [ INAUDIBLE ] sort of living on the street?
A: [ INAUDIBLE ] not running away from home. Just getting into trouble type things.

Q: So what happened?
A: He told me if this ever got out he'd hurt my family. And he told me he knew where my family moved of course he dropped out of my mom's house.

Q: That was the second time Hahn molested you?
A: Yes

Q: Did Hahn ever introduce you to Jim West?
A: That's kind of how I met Jim West. I met Jim West at Hahn's apartment.

Q: Where was that at? What part of town?
A: I don't know, it's so long ago. I just remember going in the apartment.

Q: What kind of apartment was it? New, old?
A: It was new, well newer to me.

Q: So Hahn took you to his apartment and Jim West was there?
A: He said he wanted to introduce me to a friend.

Q: That's what Hahn said?
A: Yes.

Q: Hahn said he wanted to introduce you to a friend?
A: I want to introduce you to a friend.

Q: Who was that friend?
A: Jim West.

Q: Who was Jim West then?
A: To me he was nobody.

Q: Did David Hahn tell you he was also a sheriff's deputy?
A: No, he didn't say nothing like that to me. He didn't tell me at all because maybe they were protecting their own.

Q: How old was your best recollection Mike? How old would you have been then, roughly? Ten?
A: Maybe 10.

Q: So he dies in '82. So this is prior to '82 because Hahn and West are ….
A: Then I had to have been 8, 9 years old. This had to be right towards the end of whatever …..

Q: So they're both there?
A: Yeah, in the apartment.

Q: Could the apartment have been on the South side, was it up by Ferris High School, up by the TV stations?
A: I'm 32 years old, so it's a long time ago. I've done a lot of drugs. There's so much I can't remember. On Regal maybe?

Q: So what happened at the apartment with Jim West? Did he molest you?
A: Yeah.

Q: He did?
A: Yeah.

Q: On one occasion?
A: One occasion.

Q: What happened? Was Hahn still there or did Hahn leave?
A: Hahn was there.

Q: Just tell me what happened. I know it's painful.
A: They just molested me. Sodomized me.

Q: Both of them at the same time?
A: Not at the same time, just like took turns. They took me into the bathroom and one came in the bathroom.

Q: Who was the first one in the bathroom?
A: I can't recall.

Q: Did they offer you pot or alcohol?
A: We smoked pot. That was like the thing, that was when all the kids were doing it,

Q: They were giving you pot? Ok. So that was one of the attractions to get you up there.
A: Well, no, there was no real attraction to get up there because it was an officer changing me to his own victim. This isn't safe, but this is as safe as this officer, what are you supposed to do? I'm a little kid, I'm scared.

Q: How would you describe what your home life was at the time? Did you come from a broken home? Have parents that were fighting? You came from a troubled background.
A: No dad because mom and dad separated.

Q: Dad's had his own run-ins with the law, I gather, by court records. Was your dad off in prison then? Was he in and out of jail?
A: He wasn't around.

Q: On this one occasion you're at this apartment and it's Hahn's apartment and you're saying you were sexually abused by both Jim West and David Hahn? Separately but on the same occasion on the same day and your recollection is you're 8 or 9.
A: Yeah. I was in Cub Scouts.

Q: Do you remember who else was in Cub Scouts with you? Give me a couple of names. Who was your Den Mother?
A: I don't even recall.

Q: Do you remember a name of a buddy or two that was in the Cub Scouts with you? You had a uniform.
A: My mom still has the uniforms. As a matter of fact, they still have the date tags on them. The little wolf badge, the little Cub Scout things. Mom's got all that stuff.

Q: How many other times, was that the one and only time?
A: At Diamond Lake.

Q: There was another time at Diamond Lake?
A: I don't even know, but it was a Boy Scout Jamboree?

Q: At Camp Cowles? The Boy Scout Jamboree was at Ponderay Lake.
A: Whatever was there, I just call it. I was in Cub Scouts then. I was a little guy in a tent.

Q: You don't remember which lake it was at though?

Q: That's Camp Cowles.
A: You can talk to my mom. She's got full recollection of me and my brother going there.


Q: You and your brother both go up to, is this kind of the episode at Hahn's apartment?
A: That's the first, second time.

Q: Was the second time?
A: Third time. The first two times were there.

Q: Where, at Hahn's apartment?
A: One was in the backseat of the car, one was in Hahn's apartment, and the other one was at Diamond Lake.

Q: Back to the car, Hahn's apartment and then Diamond Lake. Who took you to Diamond Lake?
A: I don't remember.

Q: Was it David Hahn or was it Jim West or was it both of them.
A: No, neither one of them was there, but Jim West was there, not David Hahn.

Q: What happened at Diamond Lake then?
A: Jim West had seen me there and asked me to come here and talk with him. Of course I didn't want to go and talk with him.

Q: You didn't want to go talk with him?
A: Hell no. I wanted nothing to do with him.

Q: What happened? How long were you up there? Was it like a week-long campout?
A: It was several days, and there's snow on the ground.

Q: So it's winter?
A: It's winter time.

Q: Was this part of an organized program through juvenile court or a scout activity?
A: This is Boy Scouts, every year we came.

Q: So what happened at Diamond Lake?
A: Jim West came to where our camp was, me and my brother. But my brother wasn't there because he was off with some of the other kids and it was just getting dark. Jim West asked me to come back to his camper because he had at the campgrounds.

Q: A camper like a truck camper? A camper on the back of a pickup?
A: Yeah.

Q: What happened?
A: I told him I didn't want to go. He told me I needed to come with him. And I really didn't want to [ INAUDIBLE ]

Q: You knew what he was going to do to you?
A: Yeah.

Q: You're fearing the worst?
A: Of course.

Q: What happened Mike?
A: He molested me in the camper. He sodomized me. That's all, I mean that's not all.

Q: Did you tell anyone?
A: Who was I to tell? I couldn't even tell my brother because I was embarrassed about it.

Q: Did he threaten me?
A: Of course he threatened my family.

Q: What did he say to you? Tell me.
A: If I was to tell anybody, that he would kill my mom, and that's all in fact. That my mom would not exist no more.

Q: That he would kill your mom?
A: Well, basically, without seeing guilt, she would not exist no more.

Q: Did you know at that time that he not only was a Boy Scout leader, that he also a sheriff's deputy?
A: I really didn't know that.

Q: Didn't know he was a sheriff's deputy?
A: I really didn't.

Q: You knew he was a friend of David Hahn's?
A: Yep.

Q: You knew Hahn was a sheriff's deputy?
A: I knew Hahn was a sheriff's deputy and that's what scared the shit out of me. What am I to do when this man's an officer. I didn't know this man was an officer, but I sure knew David Hahn was an officer.

Q: You best recollection is on that episode if I had to put a date on it, about how old do you think you were? Does your mom know when that episode. …
A: My mom could probably give you exact. She's like that.

Q: So she'll know the about year.?
A: She would probably know.

Q: Have you since told her this all happened? Does she know Jim West molested you?
A: No, she still doesn't know that.

Q: Does she know you were molested by someone?
A: I don't know, I don't even remember what I told her when something's were starting to come out because my mom's just getting old and she's not staying completely with us anymore.


Q: But you grew up, born and raised, in Spokane?
A: Yeah, my whole life.
A: Yep. Born at Sacred Heart.

Q: Your birthdate is correct?
A: Yes.

Q: Tell me just briefly about your criminal history. How many times have you been convicted and for what kind of crimes? I'm not going to dwell on that. What I'm interested in was there a correlation between what happened to you and ….
A: Drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs.

Q: Meth mostly?
A: Cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana.

Q: Marijuana possession?
A: Possession, delivery, I got a couple. Let's see, delivery of cocaine in 97.

Q: How many times have you been convicted of a felony?
A: Six felony points.

Q: Six felonies, or drug related?
A: All drugs.

Q: Have you been convicted of any sexual related crimes.
A: No. No. I would never do that to another person.

Q: I understand, but a lot of times people who are sex victims themselves become perpetrators themselves. The problem is to figure out which Michael Grant is which Michael Grant.
A: It's all the drug stuff.

Q: It's been a monkey on your back, the drug deal.
A: Oh yeah.

Q: What kind of drug charge brought you here right now?
A: Methamphetamine.

Q: You are extremely hesitant to talk about what Jim West did to you 25 years ago. Tell me why. What are you afraid of him? He's now the mayor of Spokane.
A: Don't that say anything.

Q: He's a powerful man.
A: He's a politician. Politicians can be revealed. That's real shittin'. That's real life shit. They can make people disappear. It's all over the world [ INAUDIBLE ] You see in the movies, well it ain't as bad as the movies, but it's real life.

Q: So you're so afraid of him.
A: Oh, hell yeah. Anybody should be. The man has got cops, he's got CIA, he's got FBI in pocket. That's the way it is. That's the way life is.

Q: Do you think that they know what he's been doing?
A: Sure. There's cops out there that gotta know it. There's people out there that are of him that have got to know what he does. They probably do it with him. I mean I hate to say that, but it's probably true. He's probably got, I don't know. To think that he can get away with it, cops can get a way with it, anybody can do it. FBI, CIA, who knows.

Q: Were you in Geiger when he showed up and talked to Rob Galliher? How did you come to meet Rob Galliher?
A: I met Rob Galliher young.

Q: When you were kids? In the Valley?
A: In the valley, yes.

Q: So did you know who he was when you ran into him at Geiger? You're both at Geiger together.
A: Yeah.

Q: Were you in Geiger when West showed up there and threatened him?
A: I do believe I was there. I wasn't there and seen it physically. I mean, I was there, I was in Geiger last year.

Q: This would have been in the Fall of 2003.
A: Yeah, I'd call it last year, but it is 2005 now. I mean, I lose track of years. The year's gone for me. You can look up with Robin Butcher and find out when I was there.

Q: Was she your P.O. too?
A: Yes she was.

Q: Did Rob tell you when he was out there that West had paid him a visit? How did you come to find that out?
A: The FBI came and talked to me about Rob Galliher getting beat up in jail and I happened to witness that..

Q: When he was beaten up in jail.
A: Right, because I was downstairs in the holding cell right below the stairwell where he just got the shit beat out of him all the way. And they dragged him upstairs to fucking downstairs and took him up to …. I only seen him up the elevator, but ….

Q: What did you see that happened there with that beating because that's something else were interested in?
A: They beat the shit out of him.

Q: Why?
A: For no reason. Because he turned around and said something to him. I was standing at the door and they came up to the big old front window too because they didn't want me to see or whatever. They didn't want me to see or whatever.

Q: They didn't want you to see out of your cell?
A: Right. I was right below the ….

Q: Did you know at that time that he'd been quoted in our story and that he tells….
A: At that time?

Q: You didn't know that then?
A: No.

Q: He tells us they were beating him because he had dissed a fellow officer.
A: Maybe so.

Q: You saw him being beaten.
A: I saw him getting the shit beaten out of him. I was like holy shit and I knew Rob before. I worked [ INAUDIBLE ] and worked close with him coming out of the pen.

Q: Who was doing the beating? Do you know the names of the officers?
A: No.

Q: Were any of them male or female?
A: Male.

Q: Did you see a female officer involved?
A: No, I don't think so. Obviously, they came and put a thing over my window.

Q: A paper so you couldn't see out?
A: A cover, a magnetized cover that just slaps right on the steel doors. You can't see out.

Q: What did you tell the FBI?
A: I told them just that. I told them the same exact thing.

Q: You saw him being beaten without provocation? Was he cuffed or chained?
A: He was cuffed. He was already handcuffed.

Q: Were the cuffs in front of him or behind him?
A: Behind his back.

Q: They were still beating him?
A: They were beating the shit out of him.

Q: You told that to the FBI?
A: Yeah I did.

Q: Do you remember the name of the agent who talked to you and where did the agent talk to you?
A: Robin Butcher should have all that on file.


Q: Who else did they talk to?
A: Me, as far as I know. Maybe Rob.

Q: Has anyone in official capacity ever talk to you about being molested by Jim West or David Hahn.
A: No. You guys are the first.

Q: Have you ever thought about talking to a lawyer about all of this?
A: No.

Q: Where were you when Jim West was elected Mayor? Were you in jail then?
A: I was in Geiger while he was being elected, during the elections. And in 2003.

Q: What did you think when you saw the man who had once molested you as you allege, has now been elected Mayor? Elaborate on that.
A: That this is a sick world. Somebody can get that much power and being doing that. It makes me just think that anybody is capable of ….It scary more than anything.

Q: It scares you?
A: Hell yeah. Because eventually somebody with that much power can do to so many people and fuck them up. I don't even know. Well, look, I'm going, I don't even know. It scares me.

Q: Why have you agreed to tell me now, this?
A: I don't know. I don't even know why I even agreed to talk to you then. Why I was even trying to agree, I don't know.

Q: There are other people like you out there.
A: That I was hesitant to talk to you now.

Q: I'm glad you are talking to me because the people, how are they going to know about this if people don't come forward. Who else do you know Mike that may have been abused by this man or David Hahn?
A: I don't even know the kid's name, but there are a couple other kids out there. There's a couple of other kids, I don't even know their names because ….

Q: Were they Scouts with you? Who are they?
A: They were other children, other kids who were in the group.

Q: When you say in the group, in the Boy Scouts?
A: Boy Scouts, kids we hung out with, neighborhood kids.

Q: And these were kids that lived where?
A: In the Valley. See I lived on the West side, but I used to go out to the Valley all the time.

Q: You know about Cannon Park, but you'd go out to the Spokane Valley?
A: All the time.

Q: What part of the Spokane Valley?
A: I was a hellion kid I guess. I would just jump on my bike and go.

Q: Hitch or bike?
A: Just bicycle.

Q: Were you in and out of school? Did you ever complete school?
A: 7th grade was my last.

Q: What school was that at?
A: Glover Junior High.

Q: What part of the Valley did you usually hang out with? What I'm trying to do is narrow down what neighborhood were these kids in?
A: U-City area, at the mall. That was like a big, for the kids, cool place to hang. It was brand new at the time. A brand new mall, fresh, and you could get away with murder.

Q: The cops were there and that was how they would have contact.
A: That's where you believed …

Q: Help me as a reporter. Be a reporter for a minute. How can I find out who those other boys were? What would you do if you were me?
A: I don't even know. It was so long ago. You've done a great job. I don't even know …. You've gotten to me, Rob, I don't even know who else.

Q: You know we've gotten to others. But I don't know them all. We think if we publish this story we're going to hear from some others. We're open.
(Spokesman-Review photographer) Brian Plonka: I am almost think when West sees this he's going to kill himself.
A: I hope so.

Q: That would be your hope?
A: I hope he does. I hope he takes the same route that Hahn did. That was, I can't even talk about it, that's like one of the things. I even went to a lawyer because why? What did this guy do to you?

Q: You didn't have any money.
A: Money ain't gonna do me no good. It ain't gonna make me feel any better.

Q: Have you had any counseling? Has anyone offered you any counseling?
A: Yeah, but I don't go to counseling. They just poke and prod and shit. I'd much rather put it in the back of my head. Maybe it's not the right think to do, but it's how I dealt with this one. Like I said, my mom doesn't know too much about it. She only knows a little.

Q: Is it your sense that at that Boy Scout camp that Jim West wasn't the only predator out there? That there were other predators preying on young boys.
A: Man, come one. If one guys out there doing it, don't you think … I don't trust any dudes like that. I'll fight someone in a heartbeat. No I'm big enough to stand up for my own and ain't nobody going to touch me like that again. Ain't nobody gonna touch my kids, ain't nobody going to touch none of them. I don't go for that shit no more. And I was doing my best to protect my little brother. That's real to me, that's all.

Q: Did they offer you any marijuana at the Boy Scout camp?
A: No, because there were too many people around.

Q: So the only time the marijuana appears is at Hahn's apartment. Where do you think they got the marijuana.
A: I don't know. To look back at it now, I'd say he probably got it from taking weed off of somebody, pull somebody over, take their weed.

Q: They give it to you as ….sure, as babies.
A: Here's let's go get high. Let's smoke a joint.

Q: Did you ever see them smoke any?
A: No.

Q: But they gave it to you. And would let you smoke it there?
A: Yeah. We couldn't take nothing with us. We'd get high there. I say we because there were other people around.

Q: What are you looking now on terms of your sentence? Are you awaiting trial?
A: Awaiting trial.

Q: What are you looking at if you get convicted?
A: If I take it to trial I'm looking at 10 years.

Q: If you plead, what will they give you?
A: 30 months.

Q: If I give you my card, will you stay in touch with me?
A: Yeah.


Q: It could put an end to what's going on now. My tape broke and we're not going to go through the whole thing all over again because I'm hoping I can get that fixed.

Q: You told me on the other tape that you were sexually abused as a child and you were telling me you were in the 8, 9, 10 year old range by Jim West and David Hahn. There were at least four occasions you were molested by Jim West.
A: Three occasions by West.

Q: Three occasions by West, pardon me?
A: Two by West, and two by Hahn. So that's four, but it's only three times it happened because they were together one time.

Q: So one time at Hahn's apartment, one time in the back of the car, and one time in the camper by Jim West at Camp Cowles?
A: Hahn's apartment was brown, I think, or something.

Q: Was the episode at Camp Cowles the last time?
A: Yeah, because I got out of the Boy Scouts and everything. I was like, fuck that, left the Boy Scouts. I didn't want nothing to do with none of that. I see a cop, I run. I see cops, they're no good. To me, that's the way I've thought my whole life is because if one cop will do that to you, who says the next one won't. I've had bad run ins with Spokane County because it's them putting their hands on me again. Once I got big enough. Put em up and we're gonna fight about this.

West has brought new tone, new success to City Hall

RPS settlement, funding for street repairs among his accomplishments

By Mike Prager / Staff writer

May 5, 2005

© The Spokesman-Review 2005

In his 16 months in office at City Hall, Spokane Mayor Jim West has pulled off a series of significant accomplishments while enjoying broad political support both inside and outside the city.

Possibly his biggest accomplishment was winning voter approval last fall of a $117 million bond issue to fix aging city streets. The victory was a remarkable turnaround from the resounding defeat by voters just two years earlier of a smaller street bond, under the previous mayor.

Bringing with him years of skill developed as a state legislator, West quickly built credibility among voters. Then, through a series of town hall gatherings, he assured them their money would be spent well, in part because he would create a citizens’ street advisory commission.

Mayor-elect Jim West is congratulated after his victory speech at downtown Spokane's Davenport Hotel on Nov. 3, 2003.

But his first year in office was plagued by budget cuts. The city trimmed 154 positions from non-utility services, including 72 police and fire officer jobs. West employed a “priorities of government” analysis in making the cuts.

At the same time, he oversaw legal settlement of the city’s ill-fated parking garage venture with the owners of River Park Square. The city extracted itself from the public-private endeavor at a cost of about $21 million in borrowed cash, plus millions more in operating losses, legal fees and back taxes. But the settlement saved the city from the prospect of additional losses.

Owners of River Park Square took back possession of the garage in exchange for guaranteeing payments on a separate federal community development construction loan. The city had been at risk for those payments if RPS failed. River Park Square is owned by real estate affiliates of Cowles Publishing Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.

Almost from his first day in office, the mayor has sought to bring a new tone to city affairs. He established an “employee of the month” recognition program to regularly highlight the skills and dedication of the city’s 1,900 workers. At the same time, he told them to treat citizens like “customers,” and to seek ways to satisfy their legitimate requests for services. He settled stalled labor talks with city unions.

His early months were also marked by brief absences for surgical treatment of advanced colon cancer.

Possibly because of his potentially fatal illness, the mayor has been bold and at times impatient. He chides top staff to hurry up their work. He championed the city’s purchase of the old Playfair horse racing grounds for utility and possible recreation uses. He’s talked about selling the aging Albi Stadium, and even City Hall for downtown condos.

West has promoted a downtown wireless Web network, an effort that garnered him an invitation to appear at a national conference on wireless Internet technology Monday and Tuesday of this week.

He wants to replace downtown parking meters with ticket-spitting pay stations.

He spent much of last week in Washington, D.C., with members of the Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce supporting efforts to keep Fairchild Air Force Base open and building networks within the federal government.

He was recently appointed by the Bush administration to a commission looking at streamlining federal grant programs to local governments. The proposal would target community development funds to economic development in depressed areas.

The appointment underlines West’s focus on economic development. He views it as the best answer to getting the city out of its multiyear saga of job cuts caused by weak tax growth.

Mike Prager can be reached at (509) 459-5454 or by e-mail at mikep@spokesman.com.

Voters recall West

Vast majority favor removal of Spokane's chief executive

By Jim Camden / Staff writer

December 7, 2005

Spokane voters ousted Mayor Jim West Tuesday, ending the political career of one of the community's longest serving elected officials.

In a historic special election, just under two-thirds of voters agreed with a recall measure that accused West of using "his elected office for personal benefit." Only about 35 percent agreed with West's response to the charges, in which he denied using his office for personal gain, apologized for "errors in my private life" and asked for their permission to continue "to make Spokane a better place to live and work."

"I'm at peace with everything," West said in a telephone interview about an hour after the results were released. Asked about his plans for the future, he said he planned to brief City Council President Dennis Hession, who will take over at least temporarily, on several ongoing projects.

After that, he said, "I get to enjoy a private life for a while."

In Northwest Spokane, at a gathering of volunteers who collected signatures to put the recall measure on the ballot, supporters chanted "Leave our city; leave our city" as the results were announced. Recall author Shannon Sullivan broke into tears and was embraced by her closest allies.

"I'm really pleased," said Sullivan as the television cameras trained their lights on her. "It's been a long, hard seven months."

In West Central, members of the campaign committee that took over the recall effort once Sullivan got it on the ballot gathered separately. Like the campaign itself, their election night vigil was a low-cost affair of peanuts and pizza on tables covered with plain brown paper. Raucous cheers and a shout of "65 percent" greeted the announcement of the results.

Shaun Cross, a member of the Committee to Recall Jim West, said the margin of support for the recall was even greater than he expected.

"It shows character counts," Cross said.

From Indian Trail and Hillyard to the South Hill and East Central, voters across the city handed West a crushing defeat just 25 months after they elected him mayor with a strong mandate. The recall measure passed every precinct in the city by at least 57 percent; in some voting districts in the middle of the South Hill, the heart of the legislative district he represented for nearly 20 years, he lost by more than 70 percent.

The results won't be final – and West will remain in office – until Dec. 16 when the election is certified. Elections officials will continue to count the ballots that come in by mail, but West faces an almost mathematically impossible task because ballots from more than half of the city's voters have already been counted.

Elections officials say they have about 3,500 ballots still to be processed, and that's not enough to change the results. Even if all of the remaining 50,000 ballots were to come in, West would need more than 67 percent of those to be against the recall.

West himself was resigned to his loss on Tuesday night, saying that the "voters had spoken" and the figures don't matter. Asked what he thought the voters were saying, he paused.

"That they want me to go away," he said with a chuckle. Then he added: "I can't read their minds."

The recall was sparked by stories The Spokesman-Review began reporting on May 5, which documented allegations that West had offered gifts or city positions to young men he had met over the Internet in exchange for sex.

In its first reports, the newspaper explained how West had offered a City Hall internship to someone he had met through Gay.com who he thought was a high school senior from south Spokane. That person was actually a forensic computer specialist hired by The Spokesman-Review to confirm another young man's account of a previous meeting with West, whose legislative career included votes against gay rights issues.

After the newspaper published its first stories, other men came forward with additional allegations. One, Ryan Oelrich, said after he'd been appointed by West to the city's Human Rights Commission, West offered him $300 to swim naked with him.

But it was West's online conversations with the computer expert – West used the computer nickname "the RightBi-Guy"; the expert went by "Moto-Brock" – which formed the basis of the recall charge that the mayor "used his elected office for personal benefit."

Sullivan, a single mother and former floral shop owner from north Spokane, became the unlikely catalyst for the recall. A few days after the newspaper began publishing stories about West, she went to the County Elections office to sign a recall petition. When she was told none had been filed, Sullivan drafted one, then defended it against West's team of lawyers in a Superior Court hearing.

A visiting judge said her charge involving "Moto-Brock" was sufficient to put the recall measure before voters, although he rewrote it significantly to add details. Sullivan helped defend the petition against West's appeal to the state Supreme Court, then led a petition drive that collected more than 17,000 signatures to put the measure before voters.

Those signatures couldn't be verified in time to put the measure on the Nov. 8 general election ballot, so County Auditor Vicky Dalton scheduled it for the city's first major all-mail election. Voters got their ballots on Nov. 19, and thousands put them in the mail the very next day.

Neither West nor the recall supporters could raise large sums of money for their campaigns. In late September, West sent a letter to longtime supporters saying he hoped to raise $150,000 to mount a successful campaign and counter almost daily coverage by the newspaper. According to his most recent campaign spending reports, he raised less than $20,000.

Tuesday he said didn't concentrate on the campaign to defeat the recall. "I focused on my job as mayor."

The recall committee raised about $8,000, but Tuesday's vote count made clear that the vote hinged not on yard signs or television commercials, but on a public sentiment that Spokane needed a new leader.

"I don't care how good a job you're doing. The streets could be paved with gold. If you're not a good guy, you can't lead," said Dan Lambert, a committee member.

The recall campaign brought together a diverse group of local politicians and activists, Democrats, Republicans and independents who had little in common before joining the cause to oust West. Committee chairman David Bray said he hopes there are other projects they can work on together in the future.

"Maybe we'll call it the Zorro Club, and every time we're needed we'll pop up with a sword and mark a Z on a building," Bray said.

© 2006 Leonard Witt