Nathan Fletcher
Nathan Fletcher. Photo by Salvatore Giametta

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher admitted Wednesday to a relationship with a woman outside of his marriage but said her allegations in a new lawsuit are false.

Fletcher issued a statement through his county office because he is outside of California seeking treatment for post traumatic stress, trauma and alcohol abuse. 

“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,” Fletcher said in a statement.

“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.”

The lawsuit was filed late Tuesday in San Diego Superior Court by Grecia Figueroa, a former public relations specialist at San Diego Metropolitan Transit Authority, against Fletcher and the transit agency. It lists sexual harassment, sexual assault and battery, and whistleblower retaliation among the complaints against the parties.

Figueroa, 34, alleges that beginning in 2021, Fletcher began “stalking” her social media account, then sought to meet with her privately on several occasions. On two of those occasions, she claims he assaulted her.

Grecia Figueroa
Grecia Figueroa. Photo from her LinkedIn account

The complaint alleges Figueroa “was intimidated by the dynamic Fletcher had created” and says she “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.”

She alleges that on Feb. 6, she was fired during a closed-door meeting and believes “that MTS terminated her employment because she was sexually harassed by defendant Fletcher.”

MTS General Counsel Karen Landers said in a statement that Fletcher resigned from his position as board chair Tuesday night and that San Diego City Councilman Stephen Whitburn will assume the position in the interim.

Fletcher, who is married to former Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, said he had “not done the things they are alleging” but did “violate the basic trust and loyalty of my marriage” and set a bad example for his children.

“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,” Fletcher said. “I will spend my life working to repair the damage done to my family.” 

He vowed to “aggressively fight this issue in court and the full record will show the truth.” 

Fletcher announced Sunday that he is quitting his campaign for state Senate to focus on his recovery from PTSD.

JW August and City News Service contributed to this article.

Updated at 2:55 p.m., Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.