WASHINGTON, DC (WJZ) — Seth Hurwitz is stepping aside from his role as chairman of I.M.P. while a police investigation and possible prosecution of his August 21 solicitation of prostitution charges moves its way through the legal system.
Hurwitz announced in an email sent to his staff Saturday night that the company’s longtime chief operating officer Donna Westmoreland will now manage his concert promotion and venue management company- which owns the 9:30 clubs in D.C. and books the city’s Lincoln Theatre and Anthem nightclub, and the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md.
“As anyone who knows our concert and venue businesses well is aware, I don’t have much to do with actually running them these days, but to eliminate distraction, I’m stepping aside for the time being until the matter is resolved.
As always, Donna Westmoreland, our COO, will be at the helm. She’s been with us for 29 years and has been the leading force of the company for about a dozen years, so together with Melanie Cantwell and her booking team and Ed Stack running production, as well as each of the venue managers – and all of you – I know this will be seamless.” He said in the email.
Hurwitz was arrested by Montgomery County Police and charged with soliciting prostitution after a massage therapist told police she had been sexually solicited the day before by a man named “Seth” who had called her to book a massage.
During the massage, Hurwitz reportedly made sexual comments and inappropriate sexual motions, implying the victim could make a bigger tip if she performed sexual acts.
Hurwitz also left a roll of cash lying on the floor in plain view. He allegedly asked her twice to come to his home and give him a massage, but the victim declined, she then ended the massage early.
Hurwitz then texted the woman’s business phone later on August 15, and continued to call and text her on August 16 and asked her again to come to his Bethesda home.
The woman reported the incident on August 16 to police.
In a text conversation and phone call between the two, Hurwitz agreed to pay cash in exchange for sexual favors. MCPS’ Vice and Intelligence Unit were with the woman at that time, and Hurwitz said he would go to the business on August 21 to pay.
When he got there that day, he was arrested on arrival.
He was charged with solicitation for prostitution and released on $5,000 bond.
“I want to let the legal process take its course without my issue getting in the way of our business. I’m looking forward to a positive resolution to my situation and thank you as always for all you do to make us the company we are.” He said in the email. “See you in a while…but not right now,”
Westmoreland addressed employees in her own statement, thanking them for their patience.
“First, I want to thank you all for your patience and commitment to the company at this time. It’s because of all of you that we’re able to put on 750 shows in a single year — something no other independent company I know of can do.
I want to be sure you remember that we have Human Resources professionals available for your questions and concerns at HR@930.com. Additionally, I am available by phone, email, or in-person if you’d like to discuss any of this further. I appreciate you and look forward to working together on another great season of wowing bands and customers alike with our hospitality”