The Los Angeles Timespublished a February 5 report on the allegations, which include claims that the politician made inappropriate remarks and put his hand down two men's waistbands. Following the accusations, Duran admitted no wrongdoing but said he would be leaving his post as the chairman of GMCLA's board.
Many national outlets picked up the story and noted in their reporting how, in 2016, a former aide of Duran's sued the gay politician and the city over a claim of sexual harassment. West Hollywood paid the aide a settlement of $500,000, but neither the city nor Duran admitted wrongdoing.
Robert Oliver, a public safety commissioner in West Hollywood, resigned in response to the new allegations. He demanded Duran's resignation and said he was "astounded" by the silence of his colleagues at a Monday meeting. "I have been honored to serve on this commission with you ... but I cannot continue to serve on a commission that stays silent on issues of such importance," Oliver said, reports Wehoville, a West Hollywood news source.
"To get our city back on track John Duran needs to step away from being Mayor immediately and consult his conscience about what happens next," D'Aminco urged.
D'Amico claimed the City Council cannot remove Duran. City Council members are elected by West Hollywood residents and rotate the position of mayor among them. In an extreme scenario, the city's voters can move to impeach Duran.
However, D'Amico warned that the council has the power to take a "limited set of actions," including demoting Duran and defunding his travel budget if he does not step down.
"Our City cannot focus on the work of the people when we have to address new and numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, including whether our Mayor used his title to solicit sexual favors," Horvath said. "It is not fair to the people of this City to continue seeing 'West Hollywood' in the same sentence as these allegations. Our City deserves better."
"I believe that Mayor Duran should do what's best for the City - in this case, it would be to step down from the position of Mayor, and perhaps, step away from the Council position so that he can focus on these issues and the City can focus on moving forward."
John Heilman was the lone council member to remain silent on Duran. However, unlike his colleagues, Heilman is not seeking reelection in March, notes Wehoville.