Ian Owens Alleges His Boss, WeHo City Councilmember John Duran, Made Unwanted Sexual Advances

West Hollywood City Council Deputy Ian Owens, left, with Councilmember John Duran (Facebook)
West Hollywood City Council Deputy Ian Owens, left, with Councilmember John Duran (Facebook)

In a letter from his lawyer, West Hollywood City Council deputy Ian Owens alleges he was hired for the position by Councilmember John Duran after a sexual encounter, and that Duran has continued to make unwanted sexual advances.

In the letter to city officials, the lawyer, Aanand Ghods-Mehtani, describes Owens as a “whistle-blower” for sending out a mass email under another name that alleged that Fran Solomon, deputy to Councilmember John Heilman, was soliciting participants for a photo shoot promoting Heilman’s re-election campaign. Owens, who also alleges that Solomon has solicited campaign donations for Heilman from her office.

Owens was placed on paid administrative leave after Solomon complained to City Manager Paul Arevalo that she believed Owens was improperly monitoring her office telephone conversations. Earlier this month WEHOville identified Owens as the author of a document attached to the mass email that purported to chronicle Solomon’s calls, including what it said were direct quotes from her. Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the incident for possible inappropriate or criminal activity.

The letter from Owens’ lawyer was revealed today in a story in the Los Angeles Times. The Times reported that Owens said he decided to email information about Solomon’s alleged activities after Duran refused to act. According to the letter, Owens claimed that Duran refused to act on his complaints because Owens refused to have sex with him. Owens said he first met Duran on Grindr, the gay sex hookup app on which Duran does have a profile.

Duran, who supports the re-election campaign of Solomon’s boss, Councilmember Heilman, denied Owens’ allegations. He told the Times that Owens’ claim is “an outrageous false accusation meant to detract from the wrongdoing that he did.”

Owens’ lawyer said his client will sue the city unless Owens is reinstated. “City officials cannot continue to play games with Mr. Owens’s life,” Ghods-Mehtani wrote.

The dispute between Owens and Solomon is the latest in a history of fights among some Council deputies including Michelle Rex, deputy to Mayor John D’Amico, who has a fraught relationship with Heilman. Solomon has accused D’Amico of yelling at her and acting aggressively and she and Rex do not speak to one another.


62 Comments
  1. Why isn’t Duran, who is ALLEGED to have committed sexual harassment NOT suspended as is the ALLEGED whistle-blower? I do not understand? And why isn’t Ms. Solomon suspended as well for her ALLEGED activities?

  2. Full time council members is a terrible idea. You either get independently wealthy people or those who will be even more beholden to big money people so after the terms they have employment somewhere. You aren’t going to get many qualified people to run if they need to give up their careers for no more than a guaranteed four year period.

  3. Seriously? These children (both the councilmembers and the deputies) are acting like sophomores in a high school class president election. It’s embarrassing, but not at all surprising, having watched these morons for several decades.

  4. The unfortunate aspect is that nothing will happen to Duran. A few of us on this site are complaining and saying he should go. Well, he won’t – he never gets in trouble, he’d probably have to commit murder to do so. He’s going to continue his abuse of taxpayer funds for his own personal gain. This election I don’t like (or dislike) any of the candidates enough to volunteer or donate, but rest assured in 2017 I will be the #1 volunteer to get rid of Duran. Don’t forget stories like this one in 2 years.

  5. @Bernadette et al: If these allegations prove to be true (and I’m suspicious of Owen’s motivations and integrity) then Duran needs to go. Once again: the overhaul of the deputy system must include the following: no council member has a direct hand in the hiring of deputies; disband this ridiculous union; and the compensation packages brought in line with similar cities with similar populations. These are good areas to start. Trust me folks, there’s more to come….

  6. Oh my star’s! How do I love this “joetheplummber.” You put right into perspective. You that are judge and jury; shame on you. Pure Tabloid.

  7. something is seriously wrong with Ian Owrns if he thinks he,s a whistle blower because he listened in or taped an innocuous phone call of Fran Solomon,s. This is such a minor incident I can’t believe it is getting all this attention. This is whistle blowing… .?? You people who are taking this seriously have been living in the ‘burbs too long. We have many more important matters of West Hollywood to attend to, like caring for our aging population, reducing the number of extremely ugly development that is taking over, etc. Honestly, Ian, you have a lot to learn, just don’t do it at the cost and reputation of West Hollywood.

  8. Gee I wish James Fuhrman were still around. He’d be all over Fran and her many “city expenses”…

  9. The focus on this scandal seems a bit misplaced. The Duran/Ian Owens nonsense seems very Lewinsky-esque, circa 1998. It’s a dumb distraction. Gay sex… who cares. Workplace sex… ok, its titillating, but at the end of the day its not earth-shattering especially when the genesis of the workplace relationship was Grindr (by mutual consent of both parties). The real scandal is the pay for play politics coming out of John Heilman’s office through his deputy Fran Soloman… and Fran most likely acting by direction of her boss… John Heilman. Money for access… that’s what this is really all about. This is nothing new, but it is ongoing and disgusting. Clearly, no one likes Fran! Have you ever heard a GOOD story about her? And John Heilman, 30 years in, has been in office a few terms too long… 30 years!!! Only US Senators get that sort of tenure and they sometimes die in office by that point. Just 4 short years ago there was a rift between Duran and Heilman… now Duran is endorsing Heilman. For what reason? Perhaps there’s been a falling out between D’Amico & Duran and a back room deal between Duran & Heilman as Heilman has seen an opening. Meanwhile, Duran’s deputy is at major odds with Heilman’s deputy (Fran)… and Duran and his deputy are now at odds with one another.

    Maybe it’s time for a fresh start and some new candidates. No more Heilman. Seriously, how could anyone vote for Heilman (and by extension… FRAN!!!)?

  10. I think someone should contact the California State Bar because what Duran allegedly did cant be legal, ethical & moral…sleeping with someone and then hiring him as his $110k per year assistant? According to the California Office of Attorney General: “It is illegal for an employer to base employment decisions, such as hiring, firing or promotion, on whether or not you submit to sexual demands.” The law is very clear on this & Duran should at least be fined if not disbarred completely. The BAR should be made aware of his actions because as far as I know they supposably have a strict code of ethics that all lawyers are supposed to follow & this clearly crosses that line not to mention all his freebie lunches & dinners that he thought he was entitled too a few years ago.

    Furthermore I think someone should contact both F.B.I. & the California Secretary of State…. these are the same people who investigated & brought charges & convictions against the elected leaders from the city of Bell following that scandal. What is happening in OUR city is not the same as what happened in Bell but let’s be honest, there is sooo much questionable things taking place here that someone with some real authority & independence at the STATE level should look at:

    1. city manager who makes $350,000, more than anyone else in any other city in CA, just 50 grand less then the PRESIDENT
    2) council deputies who start at $110,000 & have about $35,000 in additional benefits & have no real bosses, nobody to be accountable to, don’t need experience, & don’t even need background checks. If you want to give the job to someone you slept with that you just met on a sex app that’s completely ok because clearly it is how our city operates.
    3) what other jobs have been traded for sex??
    4) eavesdropping & then public sharing of personal info – California Penal COde is clear that you can’t do this & if you do the fines range from $2500 to $10,000 per count & may also include up to a year in jail per count. Are the walls REALLY that thin in our rich as a King city that conversations can be heard so clearly thru them??? AND of course the bigger question is: Isnt the city manager’s office on the same floor as these other offices? What about other high ranking staff people? How are all these romper room antics able to take place?? Who is minding the store?? It’s like a god dam chuckee cheese and it needs to STOP!!!
    4) According to an earlier story here, it seems as tho there have been problems and aggressive behavior towards Fran Soloman from Damico and his $130,000 assistant Michele Rex (Ian’s best friend allegedly and her experience is apparently just that she ran Damico’s campaign!). HR has supposably been aware of this escalating tension since 2011 yet it seems as though nothing has been done? How come. Why have Human Resources if it isnt going to sort out issues amongst employees? I bet Fran can sue not only Ian & john duran but probably the whole city for lack of protection or whatever it is called especially in reference to her medical info being shared.
    5) the way contracts are awarded: DId I really see here in WEHOville.com that the owner of Hikes and Bikes gave $500 to Damico and to Joe Guardarrama (clearly damico’s choice for one of the open council seats) and was just awarded a $46,000 CONTRACT???? Further, did the city really just allocate that $46,000 to RENT just 10 bikes for city employees? Are they made of gold?? Are they each worth $,4,600 to RENT??? Its like a big fat F YOU to all of us!!!
    6) The way DEVELOPMENT happens here!! It always appears that votes are up for sale to all the developers who consistently ignore community standards & wishes & all the general plan & height and parking restrictions etc etc etc & they get to do what they want & how they want & when they want, community be damned. Just look at how many hundreds of thousands of dollars have flowed into the campaigns of people running for council from developers and people that represent developers! (THANK YOU HENRY FOR THIS INFO!!!)
    6) the way that lobbyists (Steve Afriat) represent both businesses with items before the councilmembers & also people running for council, both old and new. At the very least this is unethical because he is able to seemingly get them to pour HUGE amounts of money into campaigns & 99.9999% of the time the votes go the way he & his business clients want them to. At worst, this seems criminal & at they very least should be investigated because it sure smells fishy.

    First things first – Duran needs to step down because if he was straight & his assistant was a woman, he’d have no choice but to quit. Damico needs to pull out of the campaign at once and bow out when his term ends — it just seems fishy that his deputy is SOOO close to Ian & that he & Heilman have such a bad history. Too close for comfort….did Michelle and damico know what was going on with the bugging or eavesdropping? did they sanction it to try to get Heilman out of the city and make room for one of their other choices.

  11. Republicans and Democrats. All in the same boat. Corruption, As for Mr. Owens – he was only reporting what is totally true… that D’Amico and Heilman and Durand – are owned by developers like TOWNSCAPE! From New York and only interested in one thing. The almighty dollar. And the WEHO city council can be bought for nothing. Except a “like” on Grinder!

  12. Here’s some questions to ask yourself:

    1) If you were an honest person and you really believed a co-worker was breaking the law and your boss would not do anything about it–couldn’t you go to the City Manager instead of engaging in illegal activity?

    Ian Owens–Not Honest. Not a Whistleblower, Not a Victim of any harassment.

    2) Where Did Ian Owens work before coming to West Hollywood?

    Las Vegas Sands Corporation 52% owned by Sheldon Adelson–REPUBLICAN.

    3) Who is the only person in the Council Race supported by and who has a Republican Campaign Manager–Lauren Meister!

    4) Ian was looking to support the Republican platform at the displeasure of his boss Duran–a staunch Democrat who would not endorse Meister.

    5) Conclusion: Council Deputy Ian Owens is making things up and wants a payout. All this is a result of the fact that Owens and his Good Friend Michelle Rex, D’Amico’s Deputy acted poorly.

    6) Party Politics aside: D’Amico you started it–if you want people to vote for you Apologize, or resign!

  13. Matt et al – you all do realize we are going to have at least 40% of the council being novices after the second election? And 60% one term or less (unless Horvath wins, as I hope). That’s a huge turnover. We need experienced veterans on the council as well as new blood. There is a huge risk that much of what makes this city great could be damaged by too many novices on board. Experience counts and has its place.

  14. Bill Clinton in our own backyard! But let’s get serious about the developer backed WEHO City Council. WEHOville reported on this and it is time to take any investigation out of the LA Country Sheriff’s hands (totally beholden to WEHO for a job) and file a complaint with the FBI. You can do this as private citizen. Form a committee. Durand has already been investigated by the LA County DA. Look who is taking money from developers like Townscape. As for Fran Solomon, she was under investigation by the LA County DA for credit card use. So was Durand. Even if Heilman or D’Amico are elected. That does not mean you can’t file a complaint with the FBI. And all of these guys are closed connected to Townscape developers. Thanks to Hank we know that! As for the City Manger – give me a break. This guy is beholden to the 4 council members. And the City Manger lives in Pasadena. It is time for a total house cleaning of the corrupt WEHO City Hall.

  15. Flores – fine, that’s arguable and I don’t agree but it’s irrelevant whether he practices safe sex or discloses to partners. I don’t care as much about that since it doesn’t relate to politics or taxpayer dollars. The real issue is that he hired a Grindr trick for a high paying city job that he probably wasn’t even the most qualified for. And allegedly continued to sexually pursue him! while working right under him

    This is typical Duran behavior. Don’t forget also he billed taxpayers thousands of dollars for fancy lunches at Boa, Basix, etc. with political allies and developers.

  16. In my opinion this all goes back to square one.

    Was Fran Mr Heilmans Deputy using her position and her time in city hall to solicit funds from individuals and our business in West Hollywood for her Boss Mr Heilman?

    And if she was that’s wrong. Pure and simple and she needs be held accountable. There in no credibility in my opinion that she wasnt or didnt know that was not a proper use of her office.. Shes been in city hall for years and knows the standards and what is permitable

    Next if Mr Owens did in fact do a whistle blower action and share this information with the media isn’t that a good thing?

    He was advocating for a better democracy in my opinion.

    Next did in Fact Mr Duran meet Mr Owens on grindr and from that sexual encounter in fact get hired as his six figure deputy?

    That if true isn’t a good hiring approach and or brings in to focus some less than ideal use of Mr Durans office and ability to compensate a individual he had sex with

    From there is there in fact evidence that exists to support Mr Owens Claims that Mr Duran continued to seek sexual encounters with him as his employee?

    And if there is evidence that exist to support that then that is a serious situation of gay on gay sexual harassment by a elected #lgbt official.

    I think all these points needs to be investigated clearly for all those involved, to get to the truth and provide transparency at our city hall.

    Last but not least I don’t see the use of Mr Durans grindr profile as shamming or tabloid.
    It first connects Mr Owens allegations to grindr.
    Second it shows that in fact Mr Duran does use grindr.
    And finally its not uncommon for many gay men to use grindr to meet others for encounters.
    Its actually very common for some. So Mr Duran is certainly in the trend to be a grindr user.
    The question though again is did he hire a grindr trick? And certainly as a elected #lgbt politician to be using grindr which to many is about multiple sex partners does drive a discussion about is that that best thing to be role modeling for others. Irregardless its obvious Mr Duran is sexually active, and one would assume using grindr to get new partners

    A far as his HIV status in this discussion…. at this point with were we are with PREP and current medications those spreading the virus aren’t individuals who are on the meds or have been exposed and their virus has been suppressed to undetectable and in fact in reality nontransferable to partners.
    The virus is spread by individuals who have been exposed and and don’t realize it and so the virus is in the spreadable potential.
    So that Mr Duran knows his status and I assume is in medical compliance with a regimen is the responsible place to be.
    And in fact his ability to make a sexual partner positive I think is actually almost impossible.
    HIV positive for many, now with the current meds, actually means HIV undetectable and the virus is being suppressed and can not be transmitted

    I do think Frans Action need their own investigation cause is she did in fact as a #weho deputy fund raise at city hall, there needs to be a consequence

    Also Mr Owens claims of sexual harassment need to be followed up on to make sure our #weho city hall and our city staff aren’t subject to sexual harassment.

    And in the end some much needed transparency at city hall with the deputy’s and council members seems to be working its way onto WEHOVILLE so thank you hank

  17. @Larrabee Grouch, in no way am I approving of his behavior if he did indeed sleep with and then hire this young man to make over $100,000 at our expense. If that is true, there is a good case to be made that he should go. But, you have no idea how he negotiates the safety of his sexual encounters and there is nothing in this article that makes anyone think he did anything unsafe. The only reason anyone is even questioning whether he did anything unsafe is because he is positive. That is wrong.

    @Woody, no one disagrees with your overall point about HIV. My point is that it is something for him and his sexual partners to negotiate, and unless you hear anything to make you think he did something unsafe, it only perpetuates stigma to speculate or even bring it into the discussion.

    Also, since you can use google to find out that Duran is positive, since we all know it, and I am assuming that none of us slept with him in order to be told, this deputy most likely knew it as well — so the fact that no one put that together yet but is hyperventilating about disclosure makes this discussion even more alarming in terms of the automatic stigmatization of anyone who is HIV-positive having sex.

  18. My take on it is different. It is MY responsibility to ask about someone’s HIV status, if I want that information. Its also MY responsibility to assess my own risk, and use what means are necessary to mitigate that (e.g., condoms, PrEP). I do both things, so I agree that it should be part of the conversation.

    Even if I did agree that a positive person must be upfront (even not being asked), there is no evidence here that Duran “knowingly failed to disclose his status.” Once again, I don’t think he has anymore obligation to disclose it to someone who doesn’t ask than a negative person does (to someone who doesn’t ask). Part of the reason for that is that it is only one part of the conversation (another being when you were last tested, if you are HIV positive, are you undetectable?, etc.).

    We should not expect a different set of rules from an HIV positive person than from an HIV negative person. That is where stigma is created.

  19. There is no health care organization, AIDS or otherwise, that does not agree that HIV status should be potentially a part of any discussion regarding sexual activity, I’d say especially sexual activity that is solicited on the internet. Obviously no one is obligated to publicly disclose their HIV status. Duran chose to do so, much to his credit, as this helps to reduce the stigma that is inherent in denial. However those who knowingly fail to disclose their positive status & transmit HIV to their sexual partner do so at their own peril & will likely face serious consequences. Such nondisclosure cost Rock Hudson’s estate about $14 million. AIDS education & prevention is everyone’s business.

  20. Flores – As an ELECTED OFFICIAL representing gay men he should be setting a better example with his sexual behavior. I’m not saying he’s breaking the law or should be hounded out of office for not, but it’s something he should morally do. I don’t see Heilman, D’Amico, Prang – or even Block and the other openly gay frontrunners – on every last gay sex app seeking much younger men for “NSA” and no mention of safe sex or HIV education.

    What he should be forced to resign over is what Wehoans fed up with nimby said. Giving a TAXPAYER funded plum assignment to a young man he had sex with.

  21. and the pot boils over…fun stuff. i knew they made a pretty couple, and now the romance has soured. darn, if i was only looking for a job, i’d post on grindr, who knew?
    while the city has been overrun by development, the gay small businesses pushed out, how fitting that the gay city that was baptized in counsel scandal should lose it’s identity as the gay counsel members sell us all out.
    throw the bums out !

  22. If this is all untrue, it would really be awful for everyone involved…as well as if it was all true. But this entire situation deserves IMMEDIATE investigation by an INDEPENDENT source, which in this city, might be difficult. West Hollywood political groups are getting to be like “The Hatfields and McCoys” on the “Real Housewives of New Jersey”

  23. THATS WHY IM VOTING FOR LARRY BLOCK! WE NEED COUNCIL THAT WILL LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE OF WEST HOLLYWOOD ,AND WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE OUR CITY SAFE,WELL LITE,AND NOT SO MUCH GAY DRAMA!!!!!!

  24. I agree, skywatcher888. Your suggestion would also help reduce the quid pro quo deal makings that often have a tendency to color these elections in unsavory ways.

  25. If John Duran were a straight man he would have been hounded out of office by now. An elected official had a sexual liaison with an attractive younger partner and then offered them a taxpayer-funded job. That is the dictionary definition of inappropriate behavior and possible illegal activity. He needs to go.

  26. Golly gee, now THAT’S an unexpected development! /snark

    The problem is there’s precious little honor and/or integrity at City Hall. I used to be on a Board, but got thrown off when instead of being selected at-large, we were forced to be underlings of the city council members instead of servants of the community.

    West Hollywood was a far better place when Board members were selected at large and not the puppets of council members. Hopefully, some day, we’ll restore the honor and integrity to the Boards that we used to have.

  27. Exactly Randy! Tens of thousands of people do not get tested or treated because of stigma — never mind disclose having HIV. They are the ones that are likely to cause seroconversions.

    Why would someone come out as positive if it is going to be thrown back into their face when they make bad decisions that can be made by both negative gay men and all heterosexuals?

  28. Flores St., I agree. Duran’s HIV status is not relevant here, and he shouldn’t be treated any differently than if he was HIV negative, nor should his status preclude him from using Grindr, or require him to follow any different “rules” than a negative person would.

  29. Duran’s HIV status has no place in this discussion. Period. Shame on you for perpetuating stigma and bringing something unnecessary into the discussion.

  30. Droopy – the problem is he turned a Grindr trick into a VERY high paying city government position.

    There were probably many candidates far more qualified who did not fit Mr. Duran’s narrow base of attraction (young, Caucasoid, fit) and therefore didn’t make the cut.

    I’m not saying a public figure shouldn’t be on Grindr (pretty sure none of the other West Hollywood council members are though) but they need to be careful and responsible about it. When someone is a public figure their private lives become public.

    Woody brings up a good point and I pray Mr. Duran is being safe with his sex life otherwise he is 100% a hypocrite.

    When straight politicians engage in this type of behavior we criticize them. Sometimes they get voted out or resign, sometimes they apologize and stay, but our gay politicians need to be held equally accountable.

  31. Woody, Duran’s commitment to zero infections was through the use of testing, PrEP and TasP, as well as other contraceptive means. I don’t believe abstinence was part of the strategy. I don’t think its fair to equate promiscuity with irresponsibility, as some men are very promiscuous, and always will be. In other words, I don’t agree with the idea of telling men to “just have less sex.” I think it makes more sense to accept the fact that some men have LOTS of sex, and rather than demonize them, give them the education and tools to prevent infections.

  32. While the investigation of Ian Owens’ actions are underway – what about the original allegations against Fran Solomon campaigning for Councilmember Heilman using city resources (which is not permissible). Is City Manager Arevalo looking into this? Solomon says in her own letter to Arevelo “If the allegations prove to be true, they were incidental, inadvertent and regrettable.” She may regret them, but if they did occur, Camp Heilman knows this is unacceptable and should pay the price.

  33. Am I missing something? Why is the focus on his meeting someone on Grindr? Isn’t that sort of mainstream at this point? It’s like saying he met someone at a bar or the carwash.

    I know many people in relationships who are on Grindr and it doesn’t appear to be only about hooking up.

  34. Beep Beep Beep…. I hear the sound of the bus parked in front of City Hall. It keeps backing up and running over a new body. Who else is going to get thrown under the bus over this scandal?

  35. There is a matter of underlying concern here regarding sexual promiscuity whether it be by trolling a sex site, hanging out in bars or stalking the streets & that is personal sexual responsibility. Duran has openly discussed his HIV positive status & in Jan. 2015, along with Councilmember John D’Amico, proposed to reduce West Hollywood’s HIV infection rate to zero, by what means I’m not sure. I don’t know the numbers regarding Mr. Duran’s sexual contacts, but I do hope he is informing his potential partners on line and otherwise of his HIV status & that he requires the same information from them. In any case, I feel he is setting a bad example & should be a stringent proponent of the safety precautions he obviously knows are necessary in order to achieve his zero infection goal. I was one of the first APLA volunteers on The Speaker’s Bureau & The Hotline way back when & the most important suggestions we made to our captive audiences was to minimize the number(s) of sex partners, to use condoms & any other safety devices, talk to & exchange information with your partner, & above all not to engage in any sexual activity that might put you and/or your partner at risk, including abstinence as the ultimate precaution if necessary. That said, that a sex “trick” can be hired & placed in such a responsible high paying small city government position, to me just adds another sad element to an already sordid story

  36. Lived in Weho since city-hood and this is reason I have never cast vote in a city election. West Hollywood is a clown state! Disgraceful, dysfunctional, Weho doesn’t live up to or deserve to be called a city. It’s a shame our voices have silenced where they really matter, in L.A. elections. Weho sucks!

  37. When this first came out, I had the typical knee-jerk response of, “how interesting it is that John Duran’s deputy is hot,” but I resisted posting that because it can sound envious and bitter. Who knows if the allegations are true, but they do corroborate my first instinct, and they hardly unbelievable.

    Duran’s initial defense per the LA Times is lame: “The councilman emphasized that he is rarely in his City Hall office during the day and could not have created the alleged hostile work environment.” As if texting doesn’t exist, which is where most flirting takes place nowadays anyway. Let’s see if those come out.

    Why didn’t he just hire a lesbian? Don’t mix business with pleasure — it gets messy. Now WE are paying for this guy to do nothing. At the deputy salary, that alone is call for Duran’s resignation.

  38. Call me old-fashioned, but I go by the concept of someone being innocent until being proven guilty, and also look at motivation for making charges. Someone under investingation for wrong doing has a motive for making counter charges. Doesn’t make them untrue, but it reinforces the idea that people remain innocent until proven guilty. (I say that as someone who isn’t that big a fan of Duran, who incidently was thought highly enough by the LATimes to get their endorsement for LA Co Supervisor over Kuehnl and Shriver in the primary).

  39. But is anyone else concerned that Duran hired Owens after they supposably had sex? WHAT KIND OF JUDGEMENT DOES DURAN HAVE?? If this is truly how he runs his office & manages the affairs of OUR city & I think it is, he needs to step down ASAP! This speaks VOLUMES about how seriously he takes his job as Councilman. To give Ian such access while he possesses seemingly ZERO EXPERIENCE serving the public (US!) is completely beyond comprehension. Clearly Ian’s lack of experience & his own judgement shows if he thinks eavesdropping on a coworker & sharing personal medical info & details of her calls publicly entitles him to “whistle blower status”. They both should step down NOW.

    Damico’s assistant Michele Rex apparently has ZERO experience also besides running Damicos campaign and big shocker — she is supposably best friends with Ian. Frankly I think all 3 of them need to resign AT ONCE. Things in city hall are clearly spiraling out of control & integrity needs to be restored. No wonder our calls go unanswered & we seemingly have ZERO voice in what happens in West Hollywood. Look at all this nonsense!!! If Damico and Duran can’t even manage their assistants, how they hell are they supposed to manage development, economic growth, safety, etc etc. AND all of this would be less offensive if Michele & Ian weren’t making $135,000 & $175,000 (roughly I believe.)

    Also, is Duran denying that he hired Ian after they met on Grinder & had sex or is he denying Ian’s claims that Duran kept making unwanted sexual advances towards him, as if there could be any other kind.

    1. Bernadette, paranoid much? You just love a good conspiracy theory. Lynch mob mentality. Nice. You people are so silly. Our city is actually very well run. You may not like everything everyone does, but for the most part, we are a very solid city. All this outrage cracks me up.

  40. Including the Grindr pic with this article is pure tabloid journalism and undermines the story. That being said, I do think that if Mr. Duran is choosing to use these hookup apps he needs to understand how it casts an unnecessary, negative light on his judgment. There is nothing wrong with being sexual and using these apps, but I believe when we choose to be a highly visible person in our community, we need to rethink about how we present ourselves in all areas of our lives if we want to be taken seriously. There is something innately creepy about an elected official hitting on constituents for sex hookups.

  41. So now we have two council deputies, one on administrative paid leave (Owens) and the other on paid medical leave (Solomon), both threatening to sue the city.

    Sloppy management and lack of oversight at city hall comes at a high price.

    Time to clean house.

  42. I do not see the need to put a picture of his supposed Grindr account on this article. Seems somewhat tabloidish to me. They will work this out, most likely in court. Not sure how it is supposed to reflect on the candidates.

  43. I don’t think any other gay male politician in our city is as hypersexual as he is. He’s on Grindr all the time and has a rabid taste for young white males in their 20s. I’m not criticizing him for this or saying it affects his ability to serve our city, but it is an interesting note. He surely would have been faced with a lot of bad press if he was elected county supervisor.

  44. I’m not saying there is anything wrong about being on a hook-up app. And I’m not contending that lying about your age is a crime. I’m just saying it could be embarrassing, when it could so easily be dis-proven, when you are a public figure. Not something I would do, personally.

  45. it is his personal phone or more likely, a phone paid for with taxpayer dollars? guess we know why he’s always looking at his phone during council meetings.

  46. Mr. Duran has a domestic partner who he’s been in a relationship with for 15 years now. He’s got no business even being on Grinder. It’s just stupid for a person in his position.

  47. That answers my questions about the selection process for some of our council deputies.

    And yet, besides being unqualified and overpaid, Mr. Owens probably is a blower of whistles (amongst other things, apparently). I seriously doubt that he had to bug the office.

    If this is true, Duran and Arevalo and Solomon have to go.

    The sheriffs looking for “possible inappropriate activity” in the council offices must feel like looking for hay in a haystack.

    The LA Times agrees that WeHo needs its own reality show: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-weho-aide-suspended–20150217-story.html

  48. Not surprising. Duran is very sexual. He does have a grindr profile he logs into daily though the one posted might be an old one. I think he says he’s 46 and looking for NSA. Reality in his 50s but lying about your age on a gay sex app is hardly a crime.

  49. Wehoville, was there any research as to whether or not this is a real Grindr profile? People make fake profiles all the time (its happened to some of my friends). What was the source of this image? I think most people know that Duran is older than 43.

    It would seem unwise for him to even be on Grindr, let alone set himself up for embarrassment about lying about his age, when that could so easily be challenged.

    1. It is a real profile from about a year ago posted on Grindr. Councilmember Duran has been open about using Grindr, which is not an unusual thing in today’s gay world.

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