SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher has called out men for their treatment of women in the past online but on Wednesday it was the politician who was being called out after a woman alleged he sexually assaulted her.
The former employee of MTS accuses Fletcher of sexual harassment and assault — something Fletcher has denied. Fletcher was chair of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System board of directors up until Tuesday night when he resigned, according to MTS general counsel Karen Landers.
Fletcher made headlines after he announced Sunday night he was checking into a treatment center for PTSD, trauma, and alcohol abuse.
He said it became clear he needed to focus on his health and family and no longer had the energy to pursue a run for state senate. He never mentioned he was being accused of sexual assault — something he denies took place.
“These are explosive allegations. When you read the complaint, it really grabs your attention and obviously, this is really a momentous story that’s unfolding right here,” said Craig Barkacs, a business law professor at the University of San Diego.
Barkacs said even in cases where office relationships are consensual, they're deeply problematic.
“Office romances are always dangerous situations and they’re compounded when there is a distinction between the levels of power involved.”
Fletcher is now facing calls to resign from his position as a supervisor of San Diego County from several online.
“He has lost the trust of the public and he has lost the leadership and he is unfit to lead not just this district but MTS and the County of San Diego,” said Shane Harris, founder of People’s Association of Justice Advocates.
Harris called a press conference to call for Fletcher's resignation.
He said he lives in Fletcher’s district and accused the county supervisor of trying to get ahead of a scandal when announcing he was seeking help for PTSD and alcohol abuse.
Fletcher’s spokesperson said the county supervisor has taken a medical leave of absence from the county while he gets treatment outside of California.
Fletcher’s attorney said in a statement Wednesday the county supervisor and his wife have been facing an attempt by a former colleague to obtain millions of dollars.
Fletcher said he made a mistake when having “consensual interactions” with someone outside his marriage while denying the allegations of assault and harassment in the lawsuit.
MTS said it has hired an outside law firm to start an investigation into the allegations.