SAN DIEGO — Since San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced his resignation on social media late last night, local leaders have come out in support of the decision by their colleague and condemned his alleged misconduct.
“I’m deeply disturbed by the allegations against Sup. Fletcher and support his resignation,” San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas said in a tweeted statement late Wednesday.
“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,” she continued.
Fletcher’s decision to step down came hours after claims of sexual assault and harassment were made public in a complaint filed with the court on Tuesday by a former employee of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, Grecia Figueroa.
The document details two alleged instances of sexual assault by the County Supervisor in his role as chairman of the MTS board.
San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera, who also serves on the MTS board, issued a statement Wednesday stating that he was “disappointed to learn there was inappropriate conduct” allegations levied at Fletcher, prior to his resignation.
“Sexual relationships between a person in a position of power and an employee are unacceptable and unprofessional,” Elo-Rivera said.
County Supervisor representing the fifth district, Jim Desmond, expressed similar concern and disappointment in a statement issued by his office, stating that Fletcher’s resignation was a move that was a “necessary step for the future of San Diego County.”
“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,” Desmond said. “As elected officials, we must remain vigilant in our commitment to serving the public good and always act with integrity and honor.”
Vice Chair Terra Lawson-Remer did not immediately directly address the allegations levied at Fletcher, however, similarly expressed that the move by the former Board of Supervisors chair was vital for the county to “move forward.”
“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.”
On April 4, she issued a statement saying she is “incredibly sad, frustrated, and disappointed with Supervisor Fletcher’s alleged actions.” “Supervisor Fletcher’s resignation from the County allows us to move forward focused on serving the families and communities who depend on us,” she continued.
FOX 5 also reached out to Supervisor Joel Anderson, however, he declined to comment on the allegations against Fletcher and his subsequent resignation.
Fletcher’s decision was the latest in a series of events that started on Sunday, when Fletcher declared the suspension of his campaign for higher office in order to seek treatment for alcohol abuse and post-traumatic stress.
The lawsuit was announced in a statement from Fletcher Wednesday that stated he had consensual interactions with Figueroa, but refuted allegations of sexual assault described in the complaint.
Two members of Fletcher’s staff subsequently quit on Wednesday, an official from his office confirmed to FOX 5, amid these claims made by the former MTS employee.
Before announcing his decision to step down from elected office, the Supervisor, who served as the chair of the MTS board, quietly resigned from his position with the transit authority Tuesday night.
According to a statement from his office, Fletcher has notified the county that the effective date for his resignation will be on Monday, May 15 at 5 p.m.
“The strain on my wife and family over this past week has been immense and unbearable,” Fletcher said. “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.”