San Diego Signal

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher Resigns Amid Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Fletcher admitted to the affair after claiming he was checking into rehab for alcohol abuse.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher revealed on Wednesday that he will resign after being sued by a woman he had an affair with for sexual harassment, sexual battery and assault, whistleblower retaliation, and failure to prevent sexual harrassment and retaliation. Fletcher is married to former State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who says asked him to resign.

The supervisor, who also serves as the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Chairman, announced on Sunday that he would be ending his campaign for state senate to seek treatment for post-traumatic stress, trauma and alcohol abuse, citing childhood trauma and PTSD from his service as a Marine.

At the time some questioned whether there was more to the story than was being revealed. Today’s announcement, 3 days later, seems to confirm that suspicion.

The lawsuit is being brought by a 34-year-old former MTS employee who prepared presentation materials for Fletcher but hadn’t actually met him until November of 2021.

Fletcher confirmed they had an affair in a released statement. “Last year, I made a terrible mistake engaging in consensual interactions with someone outside my marriage. I made clear, it could not continue or advance and desperately hoped I could leave this mistake in my past.” 

The lawsuit alleges that Fletcher stalked Grecia Figueroa’s instagram account for about nine months. “Beginning around May 2021, Ms. Figueroa noticed that Fletcher was frequently viewing her personal Instagram account. He did not officially “follow” her on social media, nor did he openly “like” or “comment” on her posts at that time, but in May 2021, she began receiving notifications that Fletcher was viewing content on her profile.”

“In the weeks and months that followed, Fletcher viewed almost every photograph and video Ms. Figueroa had posted on her Instagram profile, sometimes viewing them multiple times..Around that same time, Ms. Figueroa also noticed Fletcher paying closer attention to her during MTS board meetings and news conferences.” 

The suit went on to describe their first face-to-face meeting in October 2021 and then the first physical contact happening on Valentine’s day 2022 when Fletcher “wrapped his arm around her shoulder (without her consent)”, catching her by surprise. From February to May, it is alleged that Fletcher sent several messages notifying Figueroa when he was “home alone.” 

The suit asserts that the plaintiff “felt pressured to reciprocate Fletcher’s advances because she knew he had authority, as both a career-politician and as Chair of the MTS Board, to destroy her career at MTS and to potentially humiliate her publicly if she made him angry.”

From there on Fletcher pursued her at MTS meetings and events with every encounter escalating the intimacy of the interaction until on “October 5, 2022, Ms. Figueroa complained to Fletcher in a phone call that she was afraid of being publicly exposed or dragged into some kind of scandal, because it would ruin her career and destroy her professional reputation.”

 The pursuit continued through to December 31, 2022 when “Fletcher sent Ms. Figueroa a message previewing his intention to pursue her into the new year.”

Figueroa was fired unexpectedly on February 6, 2023. The same day Fletcher announced his candidacy for California State Senate.

One interesting point that came to light in the suit was that on Sunday while Fletcher announced he would be checking into a treatment center for PTSD, trauma, and alcohol abuse, ‘Fletcher’s counsel conveyed that Fletcher and his wife, Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, intended to sue Ms. Figueroa (and her counsel) for extortion if Ms. Figueroa filed a civil suit…..In addition, they stated they would make Ms. Figueroa “look terrible, and it’s going to follow her for the rest of her life.”’

Fletcher claimed in his released statement “..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,” and promised to aggressively fight the allegations in court saying that the full record would reveal the truth of the matter.

Zachary Schumacher, attorney for Figueroa, noted “Fletcher publicly announced his withdrawal from the California State Senate race, citing the need to address “post traumatic stress, trauma and alcohol abuse” – a maneuver which some might characterize as a PR stunt designed to shift optics from villain to victim in anticipation of a scandal.”

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