[JURIST] The Washington State Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday affirmed a judge's ruling that a recall petition against Spokane Mayor Jim West [official website] can proceed. Shannon Sullivan filed the petition in May, alleging that West used his elected office for personal gain by writing a letter of recommendation to assist someone he believed to be an 18-year-old man get a City Hall internship. The man turned out to be a online expert hired by Spokane's newspaper, the Spokesman-Review [website]. The newspaper had earlier published a series of articles [text] detailing how the conservative Republican had been meeting men online for sex, and Sullivan contends it was implied that sexual favors would be exchanged over the internship. The ruling means recall supporters can begin collecting signatures immediately though Elections Supervisor Paul Brandt said it would be extremely difficult to get the required 12,600 valid signatures in time for a November election. AP has more.