West Hollywood City Council Formally Censures John Duran for His Behavior

west hollywood city council
John Duran

The West Hollywood City Council tonight unanimously passed a resolution censuring City Councilmember John Duran for his public comments in response to allegations of sexual misbehavior. During tonight’s meeting, Duran apologized for some of his behavior.

The Council moved the resolution to its consent agenda,

which allowed it to pass the resolution along with nearly two dozen other resolutions without discussing the issue.

The censure resolution states that “Councilmember John Duran has made statements in response to allegations of inappropriate behavior that are contrary to the city’s policies and values. Specifically, Councilmember Duran has made statements:

“1. that suggest that there is a different standard of appropriate workplace behavior for gay men;

“2. that attempt to publicly shame his accusers;

“3. that include derogatory remarks about the ethnicity and physical appearance of his accusers; and

“4. that trivialize alleged misconduct with a former employee that resulted in a settlement between the City and former employee.”

The resolution refers to Duran’s responses in radio and other media interviews and on Facebook to allegations that he has engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with young members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, where he served until recently as chair of the board of directors. Duran has denied those allegations, but he also has described West Hollywood as a “sex-based city” and stated that gay men shouldn’t be held to the same standards as heterosexual men when it comes to their sexual behavior. Duran has said in interviews that he has a more active sex life than his fellow Council members, saying that two of them have not had sex in 20 years and that one, who is married, thus didn’t have much of a sex life.

The resolution also refers to Duran’s statement in an interview with a friend who publishes a local blog in which he denied an allegation that he inappropriately touched a young Asian member of GMCLA. Duran implied that the fact that the young man was “a skinny Korean kid with pimples on his cheek” was evidence that Duran would not have slid his hand under the young man’s underwear.

Duran publicly apologized for what he described as his “anger issues.” He also apologized for making “derogatory and body shaming” comments, an apparent reference to his statement about the Asian man.

The censure resolution was drafted by City Attorney Mike Jenkins after a request by the Council at its March 4 meeting that initially was opposed by Jenkins and Councilmember John Heilman. Heilman cited the contentious atmosphere that would be created by the Council’s discussion of the resolution, which Duran had the right to contest. However at tonight’s meeting no members of the public spoke up on the issue. At previous Council meetings, members of the #MeToo movement and other activists showed up to demand that Duran resign from the Council after the allegations surfaced about his behavior with young GMCLA members. Duran gave up his role as mayor of West Hollywood but said he would not resign his Council position.

At its March 4 meeting, the City Council voted to deny Duran the right to travel on city business at city expense for one year, to deny him reimbursement for city-related expenses for one year and to remove him from a subcommittee appointed to oversee the city’s involvement with Christopher Street West, the non-profit that hosts the annual L.A. Pride event. It also asked the City Manager or someone under his purview to review Duran’s official emails and to sit in on any meetings Duran has with an employee at City Hall, an apparent response to allegations that Duran has made sexually inappropriate comments to city employees.


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Michael
Guest
Michael

Frogwalking Duran through some of his duties for a year does nothing. Censure = all talk/ no action. Censure = a governing body’s method of attempting to look like it is fixing a problem while it is actually enabling it. Shame on Duran – and shame on the WeHo City Council, for proving that this city is owned by developers and their pawns.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Michael, have you been reading the news, or watching Council meetings? They didn’t JUST censure him. They did the following, a month ago: “The Council eventually voted unanimously to deny Duran the right to travel on city business at city expense for one year, to deny him reimbursement for city-related expenses for one year and to remove him from a subcommittee appointed to oversee the city’s involvement with Christopher Street West, the non-profit that hosts the annual L.A. Pride event. It also asked the City Manager or someone under his purview to review Duran’s official emails and to sit in… Read more »

Politically Expedient Statements
Guest
Politically Expedient Statements

Although John Duran’s timing is attune to making politically expedient statements, as in last evening regarding the first amendment, his list of personal transgressions, issues in his legal practice and ethical sensibility have gone off the deep end. Notable legal colleagues are aware but unfortunately their ethical bounds prevent comment. He slips by at the moment until the bill eventually comes due when he least expects it.

JF
Guest
JF

He should have stepped down. He is allowed the liberal privilege of apologizing, getting a few dings and keeping his seat. He won’t be re-elected. He’s done a lot of good for the city but his actions should cost him his seat on the council.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Liberal privilege??? Our president has done far, far worse. Proven things. What has he apologized for? He has the arrogant “conservative privilege” for being a coward, never owning up to, or admitting anything. Having his gang of goons cover his ass.

Michael
Guest
Michael

Agreed. Duran’s behavior and reaction to public outcry has been incredibly consistent with that of the *Conservative* leader of the Republican Party, our Maniac-in-Chief, Donald J. Trump. This is toxic male privilege at its most disgusting.

Jose
Guest
Jose

Give it a rest. This is about John Duran and no one else. Deflection is a tool over used by Mr. Duran and his supporters.
His welcome in West Hollywood expired a long time ago.
Leave, and never come back.

arturo
Guest
arturo

“inappropriate behavior that are contrary to the city’s policies and values” Really? What ARE the city’s policies and values if Duran has acted inappropriately toward city employees and nothing was done on their behalf to protect them? Only taking ethical action when you’re forced to only shows a lack of internal ethics.

Cat citizen
Guest
Cat citizen

Why did no one attending the meeting speak on this subject? wondering if comments were allowed?

( “However at tonight’s meeting no members of the public spoke up on the issue.”)

weho123
Guest
weho123

how much longer do we have to put up with this guy wearing a suit on our dais.

Jose
Guest
Jose

Agreed. An illness with no proper cure.