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University of SD professor discusses political impacts of Nathan Fletcher lawsuit

The lawsuit was made public Wednesday.
Nathan Fletcher
Posted at 12:21 AM, Mar 30, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The political bombshell dropping in San Diego County is the lawsuit accusing Supervisor Nathan Fletcher of sexual assault and harassment.

It came to light on Wednesday alleging Fletcher forced himself onto former MTS employee Grecia Figueroa, touching her sexually and without consent numerous times.

We’re naming Figueroa in this case because she told us it was okay to do so. ABC 10News’ normal policy is to not name people claiming to be victims of sexual assault.

“The first reaction I think is the same as most people is this is explosive. It’s just one of those things that is an attention grabber,” Craig Barkcas, a USD Professor, said.

Barkcas is a law professor at the University of San Diego, who does have expertise in politics. He told ABC 10News facing this kind of lawsuit could’ve been devastating for any future political prospects for Fletcher from the word go in days’ past.

“But political constituencies run very strong. And often people rally being somebody they support. And a lot of people are going to say let’s wait and see how this plays out,” Barkcas said.

We also asked Barkcas about the timing of this lawsuit being made public days after Fletcher announced the end of his state senate campaign to seek treatment for PTSD and alcohol abuse.

“I think a lot of people are thinking this what’s called, ‘a totality of the circumstances,’ situation and they’re putting all of those factors together. And quite frankly, the combination of factors don’t really reflect well and I’m sure that’s a real concern,” Barkcas said.

Barkcas said if Fletcher were to step down from his position, deadlock on decisions on the County Board of Supervisors could happen.

“Well, right now, we know there’s a 3-2 partisan advantage in favor of Nathan Fletcher. Obviously, that makes it a 2-2 split and that makes things like agreement a lot tougher,” Barkcas said.

Barkcas told ABC 10News that he’s unaware of a County Supervisor leaving their seat during their term and isn’t sure of what that protocol would be under those circumstances.