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San Diego officials ‘disturbed' and ‘disappointed’ by Fletcher allegations

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher is seen during a press conference at the County Administration Building. March 14, 2023.
Alexander Nguyen
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher at a news conference at the San Diego County Administration Building. March 14, 2023.

Local politicians expressed their concerns Thursday after San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher's resignation announcement following a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault and harassment.

In a statement posted on Twitter late Wednesday, Fletcher resigned his seat representing the Board of Supervisors 4th District, effective May 15.

Earlier on Wednesday, former San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) employee Grecia Figueroa filed a lawsuit against Fletcher and MTS. It alleges sexual harassment, sexual assault, failure to prevent sexual harassment, and whistleblower retaliation. Fletcher was the chair of the MTS Board of Directors at the time of the alleged harassment and assault.


In a statement via Twitter on Thursday, the Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Nora Vargas, wrote she was "deeply disturbed" by the allegations against Fletcher and supported his resignation.

"We must work to create a safe environment for all the dedicated people who work in San Diego County, and I won't accept anything less," Vargas stated.

Supervisor Jim Desmond wrote that Fletcher's resignation "was a necessary step for the future of San Diego County." Desmond also wrote that he was "concerned and disappointed by the disturbing allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Fletcher."

"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," Desmond added.

Desmond tweeted that it's "crucial to allow the legal process to take its course, and for all parties to be heard."


"As elected officials, we hold a position of great responsibility and trust and must be held to a higher standard of conduct," Desmond wrote.

A statement from board Vice Chairwoman Terra Lawson-Remer's office did not directly address Fletcher's situation.

"Our board and our leadership team at the county are strong and resilient," Lawson-Remer said. "We have made great progress over the last several years, and we will continue to move forward our transformative vision for a county that works for everyone. I have every confidence in our chairwoman and look forward to working with my colleagues to keep delivering for our region."

San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera was also mentioned in the suit. It claims one instance of Elo-Rivera, who is also an MTS board member, going “out of his way to stare at (Figueroa) in the audience while she was entering the MTS boardroom.”

“This strange, unprovoked interaction, among other factors, further supported Ms. Figueroa’s fearful suspicion,” the lawsuit states, that people at MTS knew Fletcher was pursuing Figueroa.

In response, Elo-Rivera released the following statement Wednesday:

“It has come to my attention that I am mentioned in Ms. Figueroa’s lawsuit against Supervisor Fletcher and MTS. I am alarmed by the allegations against Mr. Fletcher and am very disappointed to learn there was inappropriate conduct. Sexual relationships between a person in a position of power and an employee are unacceptable and unprofessional. I was completely unaware until today of any inappropriate conduct or communications between Ms. Figueroa and Supervisor Fletcher, and I do not condone such behavior.”

Becca Taylor, chair of the county Democratic Party, said in a statement that Fletcher's decision to resign is appropriate, "in light of these troubling charges."

"Anyone who has experienced the behavior alleged deserves accountability and healing," Taylor said. "Now that Nathan has stepped down and entered treatment, I hope his family will have the time and space to begin to heal as well." Taylor said the party has "the greatest confidence" in Vargas and Lawson-Remer, the board's other two Democrats.

"Our majority on the board represents the first time in far too long that county governance has been focused on representing and lifting up all the people in our community," Taylor said. "It's too soon to know how the political questions raised will be resolved, but whatever the process, San Diego Democrats will prioritize the same level of full representation."

A representative for Supervisor Joel Anderson said in an email that Anderson "does not have an additional comment at this time" and was deferring media requests on Fletcher's situation to Vargas' office.

On Sunday, Fletcher announced that he was dropping out of a state senate race and entering a treatment center for post-traumatic stress, trauma and alcohol abuse and forgoing a run for state Senate. At the time, both Anderson and Vargas released statements in support of Fletcher's decision to enter treatment.

In his statement via Twitter on Wednesday night, Fletcher said he was resigning from the Board of Supervisors at the request of his wife, former Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, to focus on his mental health.

"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," Fletcher said in the post.

Gonzalez posted on Twitter that she asked her husband to resign "to lessen the strain on our family."

"I'm relieved he is finally getting treatment he needs. Thank you to everyone who has reached out today," Gonzalez said in the post.

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