Three members of the West Hollywood, CA City Council have publicly asked Mayor John Duran to relinquish his title after multiple men have claimed they were sexually harassed by the Democrat known for impropriety and his resentment of President Donald J. Trump.
Duran, who made national headlines last year after honoring porn actress Stormy Daniels, recently announced that he would step down as board chairman of a gay chorus at the end of the season after members accused the mayor of sliding his hand down their underpants.
“I think, unfortunately, one of the problems with the #MeToo movement is that any accusation against somebody is treated as truth without any investigation,” Duran told the Los Angeles Times, adding that he has no intention of giving up his current office.
In a seemingly organized effort on Tuesday afternoon, Councilmembers John D’Amico, Lindsey Horvath, and Lauren Meister posted statements to Facebook demanding Duran resign.
“To get our city back on track John Duran needs to step away from being Mayor immediately and consult his conscience about what happens next,” said Mayor Pro Tempore D’Amico, who joined Duran in presenting Daniels with the official key to the city on ‘Stormy Daniels Day’ last May. “If he does not take action on his own, there are a limited set of actions for our City Council to take.”
According to D’Amico, those actions including demoting Duran from mayor to a councilmember, censuring him, and removing his travel budget. In West Hollywood, the mayoral role is mostly a ceremonial position that rotates between the elected representatives on the city council.
“West Hollywood as a city is suffering as a result of the numerous and repeated allegations against Mayor Duran,” wrote Councilmember Meister. “The City Council cannot force a resignation, ‘impeach’ a colleague, or remove them from office – only the voters can do that. I hope that it does not come to that and I have hope that Mayor Duran will do the right thing.”
“I condemn in the strongest terms sexual harassment and assault in all its forms,” said Councilmember Horvath. “No matter whether it is perpetrated against a woman or man or gender non-conforming person, this behavior is wrong and unacceptable.”
“Our City cannot focus on the work of the people when we have to address new and numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, including whether our Mayor used his title to solicit sexual favors,” Horvath’s statement continued.
WEHOville recently reported that “a city employee has filed a complaint with the city’s Human Resources Department alleging that Duran made a sexually inappropriate comment to a photographer” at a city-sponsored anti-Trump event, and:
…Duran has been criticized for letting his sexual pursuits overlap with his official position as a mayor and City Council member. For example, fellow Council member John D’Amico called him out at a Council meeting in March 2016 for viewing Grindr, a gay hookup app, on his mobile phone during City Council meetings and other civic events. “For years I have glanced over and seen John trolling on Grindr for men,” D’Amico said. “I can no longer agree to believe that we can give John Duran a pass.”
Duran also has called out his position as mayor in soliciting sex on Grindr. An attorney who spoke with WEHOville on the condition that his name not be used said that Duran had reached out to him on Grindr, texting, “Don’t you want to be able to tell your friends that you sucked the mayor’s d-ck?” The man, who took a screenshot of the conversation, declined. “I thought it was tacky,” he told WEHOville.
According to the LA Times, Duran said he was suspicious of what appeared to be a coordinated message of condemnation by his peers. All three council members, who are up for re-election next month, posted their statements on social media within a span of four minutes. Mayor Duran called on the district attorney to investigate violations of state law.
“You can’t have meetings outside of public view,” Duran explained to The Times. “Do I think that they all got the idea to put up their statements, all three, at the exact same time without talking to each other? No.”
Duran admitted to having sex with a man he met on Grindr whom he later hired as a subordinate at City Hall. The individual went on to sue Duran and the city for sexual harassment and wrongful termination. The case was settled outside of court in 2016 when the city agreed to pay Duran’s accuser $500,000.
Sources within West Hollywood City Hall told The Daily Wire that more men are expected to come forward with accusations of lewd conduct from Mayor Duran. Activists representing the #MeToo movement have scheduled a rally and press conference to speak out against Duran outside of the next City Council meeting on February 19.
“Look, I am a creature of the sexual liberation of the 1970s,” Duran, who is also a criminal defense attorney, told the Times on Tuesday. “I have never hidden that about myself. I live out loud. I’m very colorful. I’m very flamboyant. I’m very sexual.”
“Somebody I am not is somebody who would assault somebody. That’s a crime.”
Follow Jeffrey Cawood on Twitter @Near_Chaos.