SAN DIEGO — Nathan Fletcher has officially resigned from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
This comes nearly six weeks after he announced his intention to step down from elected office in March — hours after allegations of sexual misconduct from a former Metropolitan Transit System employee were made public in a lawsuit filing against him.
The Supervisor, who was out of the state for treatment of post-traumatic stress and alcohol abuse, said that his resignation would be effective on Monday, May 15 at 5 p.m.
Board Chairwoman Nora Vargas held a press conference ahead of Fletcher’s official resignation to provide an update on next steps. She reiterated that the county will continue to focus on representing those in District 4, despite the vacant seat.
“I hope that the constituents in District 4 and the County of San Diego understand that, as elected officials, we have a commitment to them,” Vargas said. “We’re continuing to move forward … we’re going to focus on the things that people care about.”
“I hope that voters see that and entrust in us to continue to lead,” she continued.
According to the county, staff from the District 4 office will remain as county employees, serving as a liaison for constituents, the county and other departments. They will become an extension of the county government, with a localized focus on District 4.
The office will begin to send out a weekly electronic newsletter for updates, as well as run a Twitter account for communications from District 4 staff during this time while there is a vacant seat. The account has been set up and can be found here.
A special election will move forward for the next person to assume the seat on August 15. If no candidate garners more than 50% of the vote, the election will move to a runoff in November.
While there is no Supervisor in the seat, there will be no policies, votes or board letters coming from the office. When a new Supervisor is voted into office later this year, the current District 4 staff will help transition in the new office.
Three people have already thrown their hat in the ring for the District 4 seat: San Diego City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe, veterans advocacy nonprofit CEO Janessa Goldbeck and Amy Reichert, who ran against Fletcher in last year’s election.
All are slated to appear in candidate forums in the coming weeks, so they can speak on their plans for tackling issues like homelessness and mental health.
According to Vargas, the full cost of the special election is estimated to be around $2 million, with about 27% going towards voter outreach.
Earlier Monday, Fletcher released a letter to confirm his resignation and apologize to his constituents and supporters.
The letter, which was sent from his former campaign email around 7 a.m., continued to deny the allegations against him, but expressed regret for “letting down so many people” by engaging in “consensual interactions” with someone outside his marriage.
” … while I strenuously deny the allegations you have no doubt heard levied against me … I failed to live up to the standards I expect of myself, and those which are rightfully demanded of our elected officials,” he wrote in the letter.
“I am confident that … the truth will present a very different reality,” Fletcher continued. “However, due process and legal proceedings do not move at the speed of public opinion, and this issue will take several years to fully resolve. It is most important that the vital work of the County government continue without distraction.”
In a statement just after 4:30 p.m., Figueroa’s lawyer, Zach Schumacher, conveyed disappointment with what Fletcher wrote in the letter, stating that he “continues to victim-blame, even amidst his forced resignation.”
“It is apparent that full accountability must come through the civil justice system,” he continued.
FOX 5’s Zara Barker contributed to this report.