SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher is responding to lawsuit filed by a woman who he admitted to having "consensual interactions with."
In a statement released Wednesday, Fletcher said “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."
In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, 34-year-old Grecia Figueroa claims Fletcher began to stalk her on Instagram in May of 2021.
“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. He was 'lurking' in the common parlance of social media activity," the lawsuit states.
“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 lawsuit continued. Figueroa was an MTS employee.
On May 2, 2022 the lawsuit alleges that Fletcher solicited Figueroa to meet with him outside of work “but insisted that Ms. Figueroa keep it very ‘discreet.’”
“As Fletcher pursued Ms. Figueroa, he pressed her to always delete their text conversations to cover his tracks.”
The lawsuit also alleges that on May 12, 2022, Fletcher asked Figueroa to visit him at his hotel.
The lawsuit states that once at the hotel in a stairwell, Fletcher “quickly asked to kiss Ms. Figueroa, but “she rejected his advance, pointing out that he was married and she had no intention of having anything more than a conversation.”
The lawsuit further alleges that Fletcher sexually assaulted Figueroa on May 13. On June 9, during an MTS Executive Committee meeting, Fletcher, according to the lawsuit, messaged 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 arrived in the room, Fletcher then asked her to close the door, the lawsuit states.
“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.”
Around September of 2022, the lawsuit alleges that a department head at MTS “seemed to notice what was going on between Fletcher and Ms. Figueroa.”
“On September 19, 2022, Ms. Figueroa learned that multiple people had posted allegations on Fletcher’s Instagram account accusing him of cheating on his wife, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher.”
“Several days later, 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. She suggested that Fletcher keep things strictly professional with her from that point forward.”
On December 1, “during an MTS Executive Committee meeting,” Fletcher allegedly messaged Figueroa asking her to “come say hi” and to meet him in an adjacent conference room.
“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.”
Figueroa was later terminated from MTS on February 6, 2023, the same day Fletcher announced his candidacy for a seat on the California State Senate, according to the lawsuit.
Fletcher, who is married to former Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, did not identify the woman in his statement, but said he did violate the basic trust of his marriage.
"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.”
Fletcher's attorney, Danielle Hultenius Moore, says the allegations in the lawsuit, which were not disclosed in the statement, are false.
“My client and his wife have been facing an attempt by a former colleague to obtain millions of dollars. We have asked the authorities to investigate these efforts and are pursuing our own legal response. The allegations are false and are designed to drive headlines and not tell the truth. It is also notable that they only include one side of the communications. The simple truth is that Ms. Figueroa pursued my client, their interactions were consensual and Mr. Fletcher does not and never had authority over her employment. We will 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 fight with PTSD, trauma, and alcohol abuse.
The lawsuit alleges sexual harassment, failure to prevent sexual harassment and retaliation, sexual assault and battery, and whistleblower retaliation.
Click here to read the full lawsuit.
ABC 10News spoke with San Diego County District 5 Jim Desmond following Nathan Fletcher's resignation announcement. Listen to the full interview below.
10News is naming Figueroa because we have been in contact with her and asked permission, which was granted, to use her name in the reporting of this story. It's normally 10News policy not to name alleged victims of sexual assault, however, Figueroa granted 10News permission in the reporting of this story.