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John Duran accelerates his departure as board chairman of the Gay Men's Chorus of L.A.

John Duran accelerates his departure as board chairman of the Gay Men's Chorus of L.A.
John Duran, photographed campaigning in 2014. The Gay Men's Chorus board chairman, who also is mayor of West Hollywood, said he is stepping down immediately from chorus leadership because of health reasons. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

John Duran will step aside as chairman of the board of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles immediately, he said Tuesday, citing health reasons.

Duran said Vice Chairman Steve Holzer will take his place as interim board chairman, and Duran will remain on the board until the end of the season in July.

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Duran, who is also the mayor of West Hollywood, has been under pressure to resign from chorus leadership after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced this month. Duran has denied the allegations. Calling the climate within the organization “toxic,” Duran had previously said he would leave his post in July.

Separately, three West Hollywood council members have called for Duran’s resignation as mayor.

Duran’s statement comes four days after GMCLA executive director Jonathan Weedman announced that his contract had not been renewed.

“Given the current administrative and financial challenges of the organization, the board needs a full-time chair while I deal with my health issues,” Duran wrote in an email to The Times, adding that he had been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with blood clots. “I told vice chair Holzer that I will continue to assist the organization by raising funds. But someone needs to deal with all the administrative issues daily — which I do not have the band width to deal with at this time.”

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