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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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October 30, 2007 8:18 AM

GOP lawmaker victim of extortion attempt

Posted by David Postman

State Rep. Richard Curtis, a Republican from southwest Washington, is apparently a victim of an alleged extortion plot. The story is frustratingly vague at this point, but it involves another man and something that happened last week in Spokane while Republican state lawmakers were having a retreat in the city.

Curtis says he's not gay and has done nothing wrong. The reason he felt compelled to tell the editor of the Columbian that, is yesterday the Spokesman-Review reported that the alleged extortionist was a "reputed male prostitute." That paper said that fact was confirmed by police. But today police spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe is quoted as saying that's not the case.

DeRuwe said the initial complaint to police suggested prostitution may have been involved. But after further investigation throughout the weekend, she said Monday, without elaborating, "It does not appear that prostitution was involved."

A story in the Vancouver Columbian has DeRuwe sounding even more vague about what happened.

"Obviously there is some sort of relationship between the two of them," she said. "Obviously one of them is a suspect and one is the victim."

Curtis yesterday spoke with Columbian editor Lou Brancaccio.

"I committed no crime," Curtis said Monday afternoon. "I did not solicit sex. I was trying to help somebody out."

...

"I am not gay," he told Brancaccio. "I have not had sex with a guy."

The headline on that story:

Curtis denies wrongdoing, says he is not gay

Curtis is expected to release a statement today.

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