Supervisor Fletcher Resigns
Last updated 4/28/2023 at 11:04am
San Diego County District 4 Supervisor Nathan Fletcher has resigned from the County Board of Supervisors, effective May 15, 5 p.m., at the end of his medical leave.
Fletcher admitted to having an affair with a former Metropolitan Transit System employee, who then sued him alleging he sexually assaulted and harassed her. He denies those charges.
The Board of Supervisors held an emergency meeting on April 11, which took place after print.
The meeting was called in order to pass a resolution of no confidence for Fletcher and call for his immediate resignation.
District 5 County Supervisor Jim Desmond said in a statement, “While the Board of Supervisors does not have the ultimate power to remove Mr. Fletcher, this resolution will serve as a powerful statement for him to resign. Mr. Fletcher has let his constituents down and should no longer receive taxpayer funds.”
Adding, “I am committed to working through the process of filling his seat efficiently and effectively for the District 4 community. Also, given these circumstances, the search for a new Chief Administrative Officer should be restarted without input from Mr. Fletcher. This is an important decision for the future of San Diego County, and he should not have any input in future decision-making.”
Fletcher announced his resignation from the board on March 29, and issued the following statement:
“The strain on my wife and family over this past week has been immense and unbearable. A combination of my personal mistakes plus false accusations has created a burden that my family shouldn’t have to bear. I will be resigning from the Board of Supervisors, effective at the end of my medical leave. I will focus solely on getting healthy and being a good husband, father and friend.”
“I am grateful to my constituents for the honor of serving you, my incredible team who worked tirelessly to make a real difference, and our county workers who put it all on the line for those most in need everyday. I am proud of what we accomplished together. My decision today is solely based on what is best for my family.”
In response to the allegations, Supervisor Desmond expressed his concerns, calling the allegations of sexual conduct “disturbing,” and says the decision for Fletcher to resign from the board was the right one.
“It takes immense courage for individuals to come forward with such allegations, and we must create a safe and supportive environment for victims to share their stories. While it is crucial to allow the legal process to take its course, and for all parties to be heard, Mr. Fletcher’s decision to resign from the Board of Supervisors was the right one. As elected officials, we hold a position of great responsibility and trust and must be held to a higher standard of conduct.”
“The resignation of Mr. Fletcher is a necessary step for the future of San Diego County. The focus should be on the people we serve in this region and abuses of power cannot be tolerated. As elected officials, we must remain vigilant in our commitment to serving the public good and always act with integrity and honor.”
While this is a pending civil case, Supervisor Desmond said that he should “end his County employment immediately.”
He will still be getting paid by the taxpayers, and remains in his position until May 15, in which he will gain another $25,000.
He added, “This situation raises the question of what happens next. There are two options: the Board of Supervisors can appoint someone if there’s a majority consensus, or there will be a special election. There are pros and cons to both options. Selecting someone will save the taxpayers about $2 million, but the voters of District 4 won’t have a say. During the first meeting in May, the Board of Supervisors will discuss their options, and it’s important for everyone to stay involved in the process.”
However, on March 26, Fletcher’s office released a statement that he would be, “seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress and alcohol abuse,” and has decided to end his run for State Senate to “focus on his health and family.”
The statement by Fletcher went on to describe how for years he has been “suffering from devastating post traumatic stress associated with combat piled on top of intense childhood trauma that has been exacerbated by alcohol abuse.” Adding, “I have been waging a struggle that only those closest to me have seen.”
Fletcher said he would be seeking help and “check into an extended inpatient treatment center for post traumatic stress, trauma and alcohol abuse.”
It was also revealed that Fletcher and the MTS received a letter back in February to make them aware of a pending lawsuit, roughly six weeks before the lawsuit was officially filed.
The letter accused MTS of “unlawful employment practices.”
The lawsuit alleged that on May 12, 2022, Fletcher asked Figueroa to visit him at his hotel. It stated that once at the hotel in a stairwell, Fletcher “quickly asked to kiss Ms. Figueroa, but “she rejected his advance, pointing out that he was married and she had no intention of having anything more than a conversation.”
The lawsuit further alleges that Fletcher sexually assaulted Figueroa on May 13 of last year. The suit also claimed that Figueroa was abruptly terminated from MTS on the same day Fletcher announced his run for California State Senate.
MTS has previously stated, “The filing of Ms. Figueroa’s lawsuit on March 28, 2023, was the first time that MTS executive management was provided with the specific details of Ms. Figueroa’s allegations.”
In response to the lawsuit, Fletcher admits to the interaction, stating it was a “terrible mistake” but it was a “consensual interaction with someone outside my marriage.”
“I made it clear it could not continue or advance and desperately hoped I could leave this mistake it my past. However, this individual and an attorney demanded millions of dollars from me and my family with the threat of not only embarrassment but a willingness to lie about the circumstances and nature of the interactions.”
Adding, “I have not done the things they are alleging, but I did violate the basic trust and loyalty of my marriage and set a terrible example for our children.”
He adds that he and his wife and working through this and says his wife has done nothing but love him completely.
His attorney Danielle Moore said, “The allegations are false and are designed to drive headlines and not tell the truth. It is also notable that they only include one side of the communications. The simple truth is that Ms. Figueroa pursued my client, their interactions were consensual and Mr. Fletcher does not and never had authority over her employment. We will aggressively fight this issue in court and the full record will show the truth.”
District 3 Supervisor and Vice Chair of the Board, Terra Lawson-Remer, said in a statement that she was, “incredibly sad, frustrated and disappointed with Supervisor Fletcher’s alleged actions,” and that she supports a “full and transparent independent investigation at the MTS.”
She adds, “I look forward to filling the District 4 seat through a participatory and deliberative process to ensure continued democratic representation and good governance for the people of San Diego County.”
Her statement came after board Chairwoman Nora Vargas’ announcement during Tuesday’s regular meeting that supervisors will discuss options on finding a replacement for Fletcher at their May 2 meeting.
“United and with your input, our board will determine the best direction for our county,” Vargas said. Fletcher is one of the three Democrats, along with Vargas and Lawson-Remer, on the technically nonpartisan board.
According to the county Communications Office, the county’s charter allows the Board of Supervisors to fill a board vacancy “by appointment, by calling for a special election, or by a combination of the two.”