WEST HOLLYWOOD—After allegations of sexual harassment from members of the Gay Man’s Chorus of Los Angeles and the call to resign from three of West Hollywood’s five City Council members, Mayor John Duran announced on Monday, March 4 that he will be stepping down from his position.
Duran has been accused of making sexually inappropriate comments to chorus members Brian Phillip Nichoalds, Joey Firoben, and Jason Tong. The incidents were not being addressed by the chorus leadership despite being reported.
In 2016, Duran was sued by his former aide who claimed he sexually harassed him while Duran was a member of the West Hollywood City Council. The aide sued both Duran and the City of West Hollywood. West Hollywood settled with the aide for $500,000. No wrongdoing was ever admitted by the city of West Hollywood or Duran.
“West Hollywood as a city is suffering as a result of the numerous and repeated allegations against Mayor Duran. 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,” said Councilmember Lauren Meister.
Duran indicated his health was the primary decision for him leaving his position as mayor. He was recently hospitalized as a result of blood clots and is preparing to take time to rest and recover. In a Facebook post he states, “Blood clots are dangerous and something I have had to contend with for over 20 years.” He noted that he will be slowing down for the next 30 days to address the issue.
The position of mayor, which is primarily ceremonial, rotates annually between members of the West Hollywood City Council. With only two months left remaining of his term as Mayor, Duran has passed the role to Mayor Pro Tem John D’Amico.
Despite leaving his role as Mayor of West Hollywood, Duran is not resigning from the West Hollywood City Council. His term, which is set to end in November 2020, will be served in full.