West Hollywood Mayor Giving Up Title, Not Giving Up Council Seat

"I am not resigning from council and will complete this term which expires in November of 2020."

Hours ahead of a meeting in which the West Hollywood City Council is expected to consider possible sanctions against him over harassment allegations, West Hollywood Mayor John Duran announced Monday he will give up the title of mayor, but will hold onto his council seat.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Duran did not address the recent calls for his ouster or on Monday night's planned council meeting, but said his decision was solely based on health reasons. He was recently hospitalized while dealing with blood clots.

"Blood clots are dangerous and something I have had to contend with for over 20 years," Duran wrote. "I take them very seriously because they cause strokes, heart attacks and have taken a couple of close friends of mine recently. I continue to work with my doctors to try and get my blood and body in the right balance. I am supposed to slow down to half-speed and rest for the next 30 days. I was in the hospital for one week and that did help me slow down since I couldn't get very far with an IV in my arm.

"I am handing the mayor's gavel to my friend John D'Amico as the mayor pro tem to fill the remaining two months of my mayor's term," he wrote. "I am not resigning from council and will complete this term which expires in November of 2020."

The title of mayor is largely ceremonial in West Hollywood, rotating among members of the council.

The City Council is scheduled to meet Monday night, with the agenda including a discussion of "specified actions pertaining to" Duran. The council does not have the authority to remove Duran from office, but it could remove him as mayor, publicly censure him, restrict his ability to take part in city-funded travel or strip him of his committee assignments.

Duran recently resigned as chairman of the board of the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles due to allegations of sexual misconduct with young choir members. Duran has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, although he has conceded having a bawdy sense of humor.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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