It is one of the most controversial items anticipated to be on the West Hollywood City Council’s Monday agenda. But it won’t be.
That item is the resolution passed by four of the five Council members on March 4 declaring their desire to censure fellow Councilmember John Duran for a series of comments he has made about his sex life and theirs and his disparaging remark about a young Asian man. Those comments have gotten attention nationwide and led the Los Angeles Times to publish an
The resolution, which Duran has the right to review and contest before it’s put to a vote, was widely expected to be on the Monday agenda after Councilmembers John D’Amico, Lindsey Horvath and Lauren Meister pushed a reluctant Councilmember John Heilman to vote with them and a reluctant City Attorney Mike Jenkins to write the censure resolution.
The past two Council meetings have attracted residents and activists who have protested Duran’s behavior and spoken about the allegations that he has engaged in sexual misconduct with young members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, which Duran has denied. Some of the protestors have told WEHOville that they were going to attend this coming Monday’s meeting, the first at which Duran is expected to be present after having
It’s not clear why the resolution isn’t on Monday’s agenda. Jenkins, responding to a question from WEHOville, said “It’s not ready yet. No other reason.”
City Councilmembers D’Amico, Horvath and Meister said they were unaware the item wouldn’t be on the agenda. Horvath questioned Jenkins who told her it would be on the April 1 City Council agenda.
Heilman did not respond to WEHOville’s question about why the item wasn’t on the agenda. However, he had argued against censuring Duran at the March 4 Council meeting. He said that comments Council members have already made about Duran’s behavior were, in effect, a censure of his behavior. Heilman also noted that Duran would have an opportunity to review the censure resolution before the City Council adopted it, which would make for an awkward public meeting.
“What we’re essentially inviting is another public meeting with all the people who think he should resign, all the people who think he should be censured,” Heilman said. “John will have his supporters there as well.”
At the March 4 meeting, City Attorney Jenkins said he was troubled with the idea of drafting a censure resolution given that the allegations of sexual misconduct by Duran have not been proved. Councilmember Horvath reminded him that some allegations were documented by an independent investigator looking into complaints of sexual harassment by Duran’s former Council deputy, Ian Owens. While the investigator could not corroborate Owens’ accusations of sexual harassment, he did report that Duran made inappropriate comments to city staffers. Jenkins said that case, which the city settled with a payment to Owens of $500,000, was not something he wanted to revisit.
The City Council does have other things on its agenda, which it will discuss beginning 6:30 p.m. Monday at the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica. Parking is free in the five-story structure behind the Chambers with a validated ticket.