West Hollywood Mayor responds to sexual harassment allegations
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (FOX 11) - Despite calls to step down over sexual harassment allegations, the mayor of West Hollywood refuses to do so describing himself as, a "proudly sensual gay man."
Mayor John Duran, a familiar face in the gay community, is the latest high profile target of the #MeToo movement.
Three members of the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles have accused Duran of crude sexual comments and unwanted touching. Duran has denied the allegations, however, this is not the first time he's been accused of sexual misconduct. In 2016, the City of West Hollywood paid $500,000 to settle a sexual harassment case against Duran, who was a council member at the time.
While Duran denied any wrongdoing, council member John D'Amico blasted his colleague and insisted, back then, that Duran step down.
"For years I have glanced over and seen John trolling for men on Grindr during council and I can no longer believe that giving John a pass is the best solution to the problem," D'Amico stated in 2016.
Following the 2016 incident, Duran was reelected. Now, amidst the newest allegations, three council members are demanding Duran step down as mayor.
Duran is currently hospitalized with an ongoing health problem, but he did issue the following statement:
"My three counsel colleague groups are up for election on March 5. They are knee jerk reacting and respond to issues that they have none of the allegations or facts before them. This is all about politics rather than search for truth. So no, I will not resign. I will finish my term until 2020."
When asked if the mayor is misjudged by a younger generation, Henry Scott, the publisher of WEHOville.com, said, "Times have changed since the gay revolution stone wall when gay people fought for their rights, and among those rights was sexual liberation -- being who we were sexually -- but now we've got a younger gay generation that really has embraced 'me too' movement and says, 'sex is wonderful, but it needs to be consensual.'"