Supervisor Fletcher accused of sexual assault
Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday, March 30th.
A new lawsuit accuses County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….
We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately and it's going to continue today.
The heavy rains have caused damage across the county.
In the city of Oceanside, the rain has led to potholes, sinkholes, landslides and even sewage spills.
The storm related costs are estimated at 1 million dollars.
The city has declared a local emergency.
Here’s Oceanside city manager, Jonathan Borrego.
“If approved, would allow us to seek some additional external funding at both the state and federal level to help us recoup those costs.”
But the proclamation doesn’t include the sinkhole repairs happening on the westbound 78 freeway.
Caltrans is responsible for that project.
The weather has delayed the repair because the agency says it has to dry out completely before crews can pave the lanes.
The rain is supposed to end tonight and stay dry tomorrow, and through the weekend.
Saturday is a big day for the S-D-S-U men’s basketball team!
They’re taking on Florida Atlantic University in the N-C-DOUBLE-A Final Four game.
And there will be another watch party at Viejas Arena.
It’s free and open to the public.
Gates open at 2 p-m, and tip-off is at 3.
And the Padres home opener is today!
It’s the first game of the 20-23 regular season.
They’ll be playing the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park.
You can stream the game on M-L-B T-V, watch it on Bally Sports San Diego, or listen to it on 97-point-3 F-M.
The game starts at 1-10 P-M.
From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.
County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher is accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault in a lawsuit filed yesterday by a former M-T-S spokesperson.
Reporter Gustavo Solis has more.
The lawsuit was filed by Grecia Figueroa - who was abruptly fired from MTS on February 6. In addition to suing Fletcher, Figueroa also claims that MTS failed to prevent the sexual harassment and even engaged in whistleblower retaliation. Court documents show that she felt pressured to reciprocate Fletcher’s advances. He’s a County Supervisor and the Chair of the MTS Board. She was afraid he could use that political power to destroy her career if she upset him. Neither Figueroa nor her lawyer responded to a request for comment. Figueroa claims Fletcher started stalking her on social media in 2021. Then in 2022, she claims Fletcher sexually assaulted her twice. Fletcher denied the allegations - but he admitted to having a consensual extramarital affair with Figueroa. Fletcher is married to California Labor Federation leader and former Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher. In the release, Fletcher said the allegations are designed to drive headlines. He said Figueroa demanded millions from him before filing the lawsuit. Fletcher’s lawyer could not be reached for comment. The lawsuit comes days after Fletcher announced that he was dropping out of a California State Senate race. He claims he decided to exit the race to seek medical treatment for post traumatic stress disorder and alcohol abuse.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill he says will give state regulators the power to punish oil refiners when they make too much money off of California drivers.
Reporter Jacob Aere talked with a San Diego economist about what it could mean for statewide gas prices.
The measure will create a new committee within the California Energy Commission. The committee will gather data from oil refiners to consider if a cap is needed on company profits … and a potential penalty when the cap is exceeded. University of San Diego economics professor Alan Gin isn't sure how big of an impact it will have on gas prices unless the oil companies are proven to be price gouging. “I think it's probably going to have minimal effects. There are other effects at work here that impact gas prices in California.” But Gin has some good news for the upcoming summer -- he expects prices will be better than last year. The bill will go into effect in June, but lawmakers have said most of it won't take effect until 2024 and the legislation would not allow regulators to respond to a price spike this year. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.
A family in Imperial Beach is facing an uncertain future, after getting an eviction notice from their landlord who wants them to leave so the property can be remodeled.
Reporter Claire Strong went to meet them.
“Living out of my van that's by biggest concern, because rents are too damn high” Single mom, Patricia Mendoza, has 60 days to find somewhere for her and her kids to live. Her landlord wants to remodel the property they’ve called home since 2017, and has given them an eviction notice. Mendoza’s situation sparked a demonstration outside the owner’s house and tenants rights activists are demanding the Homeless Prevention Act - or Senate Bill 567 - be passed to protect people in similar situations. But mom and pop landlords are also facing their own struggles, according to Lucinda Lilley who’s from the Southern California Rental Housing Association. “These are not people with huge bank accounts. They own 1, maybe 2, maybe 3 rental housing units and they're doing the best that they can and to survive what has been a really difficult period of time.” We reached out to Mendoza’s landlord for comment, but they didn’t respond. Claire Strong, KPBS News.
The University of California is proposing its first-ever, system-wide admission guarantee to qualified transfer students.
Community college students would be required to complete a new curriculum of general education courses, along with specific coursework needed for u-c majors.
But they would not be guaranteed admission at the u-c campus of their choice.
That has some education advocates criticizing the proposal as too complex and confusing.
Michele Siqueiros is president of the campaign for college opportunity.
“We should be able to tell students if you do a, b, and c you are guaranteed admission…and not continually change the rules on students in terms of what they have to do.”
Currently, six U-C campuses have transfer admission guarantee programs for community college students... UC-SD is not one of those schools.
Coming up.... What the PROTECT act could mean for policing in San Diego. We’ll have that story next, just after the break.
Racial and social disparities in San Diego policing have been well documented.
Studies show that black, latino and pacific islanders are more likely than white people to be stopped, searched and experience use of force.
Numbers indicate that police treat people they think have mental disabilities differently than those who do not.
And the same goes for people the police identify as L-G-B-T-Q.
So, a coalition of San Diegans have come up with what they hope is a solution.
It’s called the PROTECT Act.
KPBS Midday Edition host Jade Hindmon hosted a roundtable on the act.
She spoke with Lei-Chala Wilson, former president of the San Diego N double A-C-P, and AC-LU of San Diego and Imperial Counties Advocacy and Legal Director Christie Love-Hill.
Here’s an excerpt from their conversation.
That was Christie Love- Hill and Lei-Chala Wilson, speaking with Jade Hindmon.
To hear the full conversation, check out the k-p-b-s Midday Edition podcast.
That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. We hope you have a Happy Cesar Chavez Day tomorrow. We’ll be back on Monday with your local news and some fun ideas of things to do with your kids over spring break. Thanks for listening and have a great long weekend.