On Sunday night, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced he was abandoning his campaign for state Senate and checking into a treatment program for trauma and alcohol abuse. This alone was big news for the region and we totally would have talked about it on the podcast. Local leaders and politicos quickly commended Fletcher’s willingness to tackle mental health in an open way and offered lots of encouragement.
But that was just the beginning.
On Tuesday, rumors began to waft that a lawsuit had been filed against Fletcher and the Metropolitan Transit System.
On Wednesday, Fletcher announced his resignation as board chair of the MTS — the same day a former MTS employee filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexual harassment and assault.
On Wednesday afternoon, two staffers left Fletcher’s County Supervisor office.
Late Wednesday night, Fletcher announced he would resign as Supervisor effective after his treatment, May 15, 2023.
It was one of those rare weeks when time felt more like a crazy straw than a flat circle.
This week on the VOSD Podcast, hosts Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Andrew Keatts recap the week: What we knew, when we knew it and where the involved agencies and people stand. They also combed through the complaint by the former employee to understand the breadth of her allegations against one of the region’s most influential leaders.
On the second half of the show, Lopez-Villfaña and Keatts called up long-distance host Scott Lewis. On the call, our crew dug into the consequences for MTS (and some mechanics to replace Fletcher on the Board of Supervisors). Allegedly, an assault occurred at MTS headquarters by its board chair. The employee making these accusations was fired the very day Fletcher announced his campaign for state Senate.
The full blast radius of this scandal is yet unknown. This week, our hosts assess how far the impacts may go and where transparency is most needed to untangle this mess.
Note: After we recorded our podcast on Thursday afternoon, a second accuser came forward.
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Who is paying for treatment? Is it covered? If he resigns immediately would treatment still be covered? Does his contact give him residual salary rights if he voluntarily resigns?
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