Photo via Zephyris at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Zephyris at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

A West Hollywood City Council aide who was suspended for allegedly bugging his colleague’s office says he is actually a “whistle-blower” who is being wrongly punished.

Ian Owens, a deputy to Councilman John Duran, said he was acting in the public’s best interest when he emailed snippets of his colleague’s personal phone conversations at City Hall, the Los Angeles Times reported. He said he took action only after being ignored by his own boss, whom Owens said was upset with him because Owens had spurned his boss’ sexual advances.

In an eight-page letter sent to the city Monday, Aanand Ghods-Mehtani said West Hollywood had retaliated against his client and unlawfully suspended him last month, according to The Times.

Owens is now on paid administrative leave while city officials and Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives investigate allegations that he bugged the City Hall office of Fran Solomon, the deputy to Councilman John Heilman.

Owens reportedly suspected Solomon was soliciting campaign contributions for her boss, who is running for reelection, on city time, The Times reported.

In the letter, Owens’ attorney threatens a lawsuit against the city unless several demands are met, including that Owens be allowed to return to work.

—City News

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