EXCLUSIVE: WeHo Mayor John Duran Fights Back Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

February 22, 2019 - 1:28 pm
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(KNX 1070) -  In an exclusive interview with In-Depth Friday, WeHo Mayor John Duran fought back at allegations of sexual misconduct. 

Earlier this week, all of his city council colleagues voted to shorten his term as he deals with allegations of sexual misconduct.

While noting what Duran's done for the city, LGBT community and people with HIV or AIDS, Councilman John Heilman says those contributions "are in no way an excuse for misbehavior."

"Nor is the theme of sexual liberation an excuse for sexual harassment or sexual misbehavior," Heilman said.

Duran contends "people are...piling on a false narrative" and says he's not going anywhere.

Duran says "being sexual does not equal sexual harassment. No means NO! But you gotta say "no!" first."

"He keeps trying to say 'oh this is just how gay culture is.' No, it's not. Consent is still a requirement in gay culture," Gleason said.

Dennis Gleason, policy director for Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, accuses Duran of making inappropriate comments and pushing for a sexual encounter, via the app, Grindr, even after he said he wasn't interested.

"It's fine to be sexual and sex positive but consent is still required," Gleason said.

Duran's council colleagues have asked staff to report back on their options, including censure and cutting his travel budget.

On Tuesday, a coalition of community groups held a protest rally outside the West Hollywood city council meeting calling on Mayor John Duran to resign.

Three fellow members of the council have already said he should step down.

Duran, who is a member of the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, has been accused of sexually harassing several other singers in the group.

Activist Jerome Kitchen tells KNX he sees this as a #MeToo moment for West Hollywood:

"Personally I feel like he might be the Democratic party version of Donald Trump and he's going to push this as far as possible. However, the council has things in their power, they can remove him from his honorary Mayor title and can strip his travel budget," he said.

Mayor Duran says he's done nothing wrong and he tells KNX that he's working on a statement to be released later Tuesday in response to the protest rally.