San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher Went to Rehab In Anticipation of Sexual Harassment, Assault and Retaliation Lawsuit Filed by County Employee

Nathan Fletcher and his wife, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher. CREDIT: Nathan Fletcher/Twitter

As Jennifer Oliver O’Connell reported a few days ago, former California Assemblyman and current San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher abandoned his State Senate run and checked into rehab Sunday, seeking treatment for alcohol abuse and PTSD. As nearly every observer expected, there was more to the story, and it didn’t take long for more to be revealed. Late Tuesday night a lawsuit was filed against Fletcher and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System by a female employee, Grecia Figueroa, who said Fletcher sexually harassed and assaulted her, and that she was unjustifiably fired from her job the same day Fletcher announced his Senate campaign.


According to the lawsuit, Fletcher “stalked” Figueroa, a former television journalist who’s now part of the MTS marketing/public affairs staff, online through her Instagram account for months, and eventually wanted her to meet with him. She says she felt pressure to communicate with him because of his position as chair of the MTS board, which is part of his role as a county supervisor, and because Fletcher and his wife are arguably the most influential politicians in the area. Her complaint contains numerous screenshots of their interactions, and while they’re incomplete they portray Fletcher pursuing Figueroa and ramping up his requests over time.

Nathan Fletcher Instagram DM's
Screenshot of Instagram communications between Nathan Fletcher and Grecia Figueroa. SOURCE: Complaint, Figueroa v. Fletcher

Fletcher referenced his experience as a US Marine as a way to impress Figueroa.



Screenshot of Instagram communications between Nathan Fletcher and Grecia Figueroa. SOURCE: Complaint, Figueroa v. Fletcher

Starting in February 2022 Fletcher would let Figueroa know when Lorena and the kids weren’t home at night, saying things like, “I get bored with nothing to do,” and eventually tried to figure out where the two could meet without either the public or his security detail observing them. According to the complaint, Fletcher messaged Figueroa, saying:

“If I went to lunch with you (beautiful woman) our lunch would be on social media in 10 minutes.” … “You get the problem we would have if out in public?” … “[We] just have to find the right setting. Like in a closet or something …”

Screenshot of Instagram communications between Nathan Fletcher and Grecia Figueroa. SOURCE: Complaint, Figueroa v. Fletcher

During that time the Fletchers were living in a hotel in San Diego, since their home had been damaged in a fire in January 2022. (That fire was intentionally set, according to investigators, but no one has been charged with the arson at this time.) Fletcher eventually convinced Figueroa to meet him in the stairwell of that hotel one night to share a beer. He also told Figueroa to delete their messages periodically, according to the complaint.

Screenshot of Instagram communications between Nathan Fletcher and Grecia Figueroa. SOURCE: Complaint, Figueroa v. Fletcher
Screenshot of Instagram communications between Nathan Fletcher and Grecia Figueroa. SOURCE: Complaint, Figueroa v. Fletcher

Fletcher asked Figueroa if he could kiss her, she says, and she declined, telling him that he was a married man and “she had no intention of having anything more than a conversation.” Fletcher pressured her to keep having drinks with him and talking to him, and he continued to attempt to get physical with her. At the end of the night he put his hands on her and forcibly kissed her. The next day he messaged her, thanking her for a “nice escape” and telling her he’d get back in touch after his trip with California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

While the two would see each other at public work events a few times a month, Fletcher continued to message Figueroa privately, attempting to set up another private encounter. Fletcher and his wife are both known as vindictive, retaliatory people, and Figueroa says she was afraid of angering him while at the same time attempting to not be alone with him. But that wasn’t always possible, due to her position with MTS and his position as the board chair. From the complaint:


On June 9, 2022, during an MTS Executive Committee meeting, Fletcher messaged Ms. Figueroa while she was sitting in the audience. He told her to meet him in an adjacent conference room when the meeting was over because “I have five minutes.” When she got to the room, Fletcher asked her to close the door. He then put his mouth against hers, and began to grab her breasts through her clothes. Ms. Figueroa pushed him back because she was not comfortable having this type of encounter with him, especially at MTS headquarters, while coworkers and managers were immediately outside the door. Fletcher assured her that “no one will bother us in here,” but Ms. Figueroa felt shocked and uncomfortable and soon left the room.

Figueroa says that in October 2022 she had a phone call with Fletcher in which she told him that she was afraid of being dragged into a scandal and that they should only have professional interactions, but Fletcher dismissed her concerns.

On another occasion, in December 2022, Fletcher messaged Figueroa during an MTS board meeting both were attending and asked her to come say hi to him after the meeting.

The complaint describes what happened next:

When Ms. Figueroa arrived at the room, Fletcher asked her to close the door and then sexually assaulted her a second time – this time grabbing her breasts underneath her blouse, pulling off some of her clothes, exposing her breasts, and putting his mouth on her nipple, while forcefully shoving his hand back and forth over her vaginal area.


After that, Figueroa would receive private communications from Fletcher during MTS meetings they were both attending, and says that her last communication with him was January 26, 2023, and that she was unceremoniously fired on February 6, the same day Fletcher kicked off his State Senate campaign.

Around the same time news of the lawsuit broke, Fletcher issued a statement admitting that he had participated in an inappropriate relationship with another woman and insinuating that the woman was continually pursuing him and extorting him.

“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. However, 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.

“I have not done the things they are alleging, but I did violate the basic trust and loyalty of my marriage and set a terrible example for our children. Lorena and I have already started to work through this, and that work must continue after I complete treatment for trauma and alcohol abuse. My wife has done nothing but love me completely and without reservation and the blame for allowing myself to be in this situation rests entirely on my shoulders. I will spend my life working to repair the damage done to my family.”

Figueroa says that she, through counsel, attempted to resolve her claim that she was wrongfully terminated without litigation, but that those talks broke down on March 26 when Fletcher and his wife “resorted to threats of bullying, intimidation, and defamatory legal action against Ms. Figueroa if she ever brought her story to light.”


That same day, Fletcher suddenly entered rehab.

By Wednesday night two of Fletcher’s staffers had quit, and one minute after the local 10:00 news ended, a new tweet thread appeared on Fletcher’s personal Twitter account, announcing that he would be resigning from the Board of Supervisors “effective at the end of [his] medical leave.”

Since it’s pretty common knowledge that when someone checks into a rehab facility they aren’t allowed to be on their mobile devices, whether Fletcher himself composed and sent the tweet is in question.

Shortly after that tweet thread was posted, Fletcher’s wife, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, tweeted that she asked him to resign.

Already, more potential victims are coming forward, and we will continue to cover this story.


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