Free shipping over $99 | Interest Free *no credit check* financing is available!

West Hollywood Pays Half Million Bucks To Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

by matt baume February 23, 2016

John Duran

John Duran

Here’s the thing about West Hollywood: Yes, it’s technically a “city.” But it’s plagued by the kind of small-town amateur-hour politics that seem more suited to the comment section of a YouTube video than the halls of government.

The latest nonsense: a sexual harassment lawsuit against a longtime City Council member was just settled for a half million dollars, according to our friends at WEHOville, which broke the story. Great job, WeHo.

A little backstory: Councilmember John Duran met a guy on Grindr named Ian Owens. They hooked up, and then Duran gave Owens a job at City Hall. At the time, WeHo had a deputy system where politicians could give out cushy jobs, and for some reason everyone hated everyone else. It was an insanely hostile environment where people were always either shouting at each other or refusing to speak to each other. Awesome.

Owens thought he overheard another deputy engaging in illegal electioneering, so he eavesdropped and took notes on her conversations. When he brought his complaints to Duran, he says, they were ignored and he was suspended. His claim is that he was punished for not being sexually available to Duran after getting the job. Duran and the city deny all that, and although an investigation said there was no evidence of sexual harassment, the settlement closes the book with no firm admission from either side.

Screen-Shot-2015-02-02-at-5.57.14-PM-e1424238411207-300x193

Ian Owens and John Duran in happier times

Since then, the dumb deputy system has been eliminated, thanks to incoming City Council Member Lindsey Horvath, one of the only adults to serve on City Council in many years.

Meanwhile, it’s business as usual for the gay bars and brunch places and all-night-underwear shops — residents and tourists none the wiser about how the place is being run, and probably not caring.

Why are WeHo politics so backward? Because it’s really not a “city,” as it claims, but a small town that lucked out with some super-wealthy businesses — hotels and nightclubs, luxury boutiques, that sort of stuff.

So there’s a lot of money flying around, and a lot of talented artists, but a drought of political talent.




matt baume
matt baume

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Think

State Senate Candidate Calls Gay Teen Who Committed Suicide A Murderer, Internet Comes For Him

by Derek de Koff September 29, 2016

The below comment was written by Jason Christensen, a man currently running for Utah State Senate, in regards to a teenager who committed suicide last week over his sexuality: Since being posted on Reddit earlier today, it’s drummed up considerable outrage, with hundreds of people demanding that Christensen’s political career come to an abrupt and inauspicious end. Related: Andrew Christian Model [...]

Continue Reading →

You Can’t Unsee The Hillary “Shimmy Song”

by Jeff Taylor September 29, 2016

Earworm warning: this one will burrow its way into your brain. You’ve seen the shimmy GIFs and memes, now this growing phenomenon has its own song, and it’s…well, kind of annoying actually, but still somewhat amusing. Related: Randy Rainbow Moderates The First Debate; It’s Super The lyrics center around how Hillary Clinton won the first debate [...]

Continue Reading →

Justin Theroux Reflects On Those Infamous ‘Leftovers’ Sweatpants Photos

by Graham Gremore September 29, 2016

It was August 2014. The Leftovers was wrapping up its first season on HBO and the entire Internet was in a tizzy over Justin Theroux’s sweatpants. More specifically, what was flopping around underneath the sweatpants he was wearing in the opening scene of an episode. In case you need a refresher, here you go: After making national headlines, [...]

Continue Reading →