Looks like California politician Nathan Fletcher is getting special treatment

Looks like California politician Nathan Fletcher is getting special treatment
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

Towards the end of last week I reported on disgraced politician, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, and some very serious allegations. The story – publicly – started when Fletcher dropped out of the race for state Senate, and then proceeding that, admitted himself into a rehab facility for supposed substance abuse and PTSD related issues. There was nothing suspect about that facially until it was announced a civil suit was filed against him with very serious criminal allegations such as stalking, intimidation, and sexual assault. After the news of the suit broke, Fletcher’s office announced that he’d be resigning from the County Board of Supervisors upon his return from rehab. Fletcher, who’s been said to own firearms and have a California carry permit, has also been a huge proponent of gun control, specifically “red flag” laws. In new developments this week, it appears that Fletcher might be getting special treatment from the authorities in San Diego.

In Friday’s article, I covered the query that San Diego County Gun Owners put out to the law enforcement officials of the jurisdiction. In that letter, it was asked if Fletcher would be getting a gun violence restraining order, aka California’s “red flag” seizure order, executed against him. It was further asked if he’d be having his carry permit revoked. The sexual assault allegations, as outlined last week, are very serious and beyond the threshold of where others have had their firearms seized based on allegation alone. 

San Diego County Gun Owners did get a reply from San Diego City Attorney, Mara Elliot. Given the subsequent reply back to Elliot’s office, Michael A. Schwartz, San Diego County Gun Owners PAC’s Political Director, alluded to special treatment:

Thank you for your response to my letter of April 5, 2023. Predictably, your office will not petition for a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) against Nathan Fletcher, despite the sexual assault allegations against him as spelled out in court documents and reported by every major news agency in San Diego.

You have been public about how aggressive your office is when petitioning for GVROs in similar situations, especially when a GVRO isn’t even required to remove firearms. You have pursued GVROs in hundreds of cases in which there was little more than the accusation of bad behavior, let alone an alleged victim of violent crime.

Shocked, not shocked about the reply. While this might be one of those “emperor has no clothes” moments, the City Attorney’s office indicating they won’t be pursuing the seizure of Fletcher’s firearms is a double down on hypocritical bad policy.

Schwartz listed off some of the instances that people of San Diego have had GVROs executed on them to further outline the “good for thee, but not for me” mentality with progressive gun-grabbers:

Your office has issued a GVRO for a Facebook meme that offended a coworker. Your office has issued a GVRO against a roommate who was having a financial dispute. Your office has even issued a GVRO against a woman who caught her husband cheating, while taking the word of the angry husband, and then refused to drop the case after the husband admitted he made up the accusation.

What makes the Nathan Fletcher case different? Why won’t you take Fletcher’s guns so he has to – like these other cases – spend thousands of dollars to go to court and clear his name, simply because someone accused him?

There is an actual alleged violent crime committed against someone, which makes it a much more serious situation than most of your GVROs. The big difference in this case is Fletcher appears to be getting special treatment, because of his stature as a prominent elected official.

The letter continued, as Schwartz cut apart every single excuse he was given, pointing out, “In your letter you say you don’t want to petition for a GVRO because you don’t want to ‘stigmatize’ people seeking help for PTSD and alcoholism (making no mention of any concern or compassion for Fletcher’s alleged sexual assault victim). Does your office have a complete list of laws people can break and then avoid any related consequences, by claiming PTSD and alcoholism? If so, can you please provide it to me?” Schwartz started to wrap up his missive by asserting:

San Diego County Gun Owners is asking that everyone be afforded the “Nathan Fletcher Treatment” from now on. Don’t just spare your friends from GVROs; spare everyone. If someone is breaking the law, law enforcement already has the ability to take firearms away. If someone is not breaking the law, why are we taking away their firearms?

And that’s exactly what everyone in San Diego who ends up on the receiving end of one of these unconstitutional seizures should demand…Say, “I want the Nathan Fletcher Treatment,” loud and proud. Maybe we have to pair it with saying we want treatment for substance abuse too? Can we gather a lesson from the wisdom of Afroman, if we say we did something because we were high and it’ll be okay? No? Doubtful for the unwashed peasants.

I reached out to City Attorney Mara Elliot’s office myself to see what kind of response I would get. My email to Elliot is in part below:

I’m writing concerning a story that I’ve been following and I have reported on over last week. I’m a freelance writer with a number of online news pages and I recently covered the story about the very serious allegations that were made against Nathan Fletcher over at BearingArms.com. As you’re aware, the allegations in case number 37-2023-00012828-CU-OE-CTL, Figueroa vs Fletcher, are beyond reproach and deserving of a criminal investigation. Considering the recent closed session meeting with the MTS the other day, obviously Fletcher’s behavior implicates more than himself, his alleged victim, and the 20+ unnamed Does in the complaint.

I was wondering if you could please offer comment for publication on whether or not your office plans on pursuing any criminal investigation and or charges. Further, given the grave, serious, and violent nature of Fletcher’s alleged acts of: sexual violence, stalking, and intimidation; are there any plans on seeing to the revocation of Fletcher’s concealed carry permit, and the execution of a gun violence restraining order to confiscate any firearms that may be owned by the accused.

The response I received seems much more sanitized than what SDCGOs received. It appears officials are circling the wagons on the issue. Last Thursday the Metropolitan Transit System board, the former employer of Fletcher’s accuser, had a closed meeting concerning the allegations. During that meeting, the board voted to launch an independent investigation into the matter. Also, more and more details about who knew what when are starting to surface as well. Fletcher knew about the allegations as early as mid February.

Elliot’s office sent the equivalent of a “thanks for your comments” type of response. In it, Richard Jackoway, Director of Communications for the Office of City Attorney Mara W. Elliott, deflected responsibility and refused to “comment on investigations, even to confirm or deny their existence.” And after that, Jackoway paid me some lip service, mansplaining to me how GVROs and the carry permit system in California works. But like many political moves and weasel words, he left out the nuance of important details:

Mr. Petrolino,

Thank you for contacting the San Diego City Attorney’s Office. Our Office does not comment on investigations, even to confirm or deny their existence. However some information about concealed carry permits and Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) may be helpful in your reporting.

By state law, Carry Concealed Weapons (CCW) licenses are issued and revoked by county sheriffs, and our office has no role. Questions about CCW licenses issued under Sheriff Kelly Martinez can be directed to the San Diego Sheriff’s Office. Here is a link with additional information about that program: https://www.sdsheriff.gov/i-want-to/get-a-permit-or-license/regulatory-licenses-and-fees/concealed-weapons-license

Gun Violence Restraining Orders are civil orders issued by a judge. Our Office petitions for GVROs based on evidence submitted to us by law enforcement agencies, principally the San Diego Police Department, and reviewed by our Office to ensure it meets the standard set by the state’s GVRO statute, which is clear and convincing evidence that the GVRO respondent poses a significant danger to himself or another. We have urged anyone with information relevant to this matter to bring that information to the San Diego Police Department. For non-emergencies, SDPD can be contacted at 619-531-2000, or 858-484-3154. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

And just like that, “the more you know” slogan should cross the screen with some starry banner. The response is very much on par with completely ignoring responsibility for holding Fletcher accountable. The missing pieces of the puzzle are that the office could petition for all of the above and more, they just seem to be refusing to do so. Some cities are responsible for the issuance of permits to carry in California, just minutia of details left unexplored, but it is worth elaborating that the San Diego Sheriff is the issuing authority for permitting in that county – not the city.

Eventually, we can imagine, the pressure will build enough that some sort of criminal investigation is going to have to occur. However, any more moments delayed in acting just further proves double standards, incompetence, cognitive dissonance, and makes a very strong case for the people to have no confidence in City Attorney Mara W. Elliott.

I reached out to Michael Schwartz from SDCGOs about the situation. We chatted a bit and some of what he had to say is on par with what we’re all thinking right now:

Every time voters see politicians enforcing laws against some, while sparing their friends, we should be highly concerned. In this case, it just happens to be a horribly unconstitutional GVRO. Mara Elliott, the San Diego City Attorney, really had to thread a needle to come up with an excuse for not issuing [a GVRO]. Her excuse of not stigmatizing people is ridiculous.

How the story of Nathan Fletcher’s perceived preferential treatment will end, no telling. We’re talking California of course. Some say his political career is over. I gather a guy like that could double down if he ran for office in a place like Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco. If there were to be an active criminal investigation from any of the law enforcement officials within the jurisdiction of Fletcher’s alleged crimes, I think that information would have become public by now. All that’s left to say is that should I ever find myself in some sort of a hot seat, I’m going to have to assert this new Fourth Amendment right, the “Nathan Fletcher Treatment.”

“I messed up my entire life because I got high (go go go)
I lost my kids and wife because I
Got high (say what say what say what?)
Now I’m sleepin’ on the sidewalk and I know why (why man?)
(Yeah yeah)
‘Cause I got high
Because I got high
Because I got high” – Afroman

For great footage of Nathan Fletcher talking about GVROs, lauding City Attorney Mara Elliott’s efforts in executing these seizures and partnering with his office, while talking about how important they are, click HERE, or check it out in the embed below.