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“It’s an unsettled household. Particularly his mother, who is very involved in church — as is his father and the rest of the family — but she drinks, and it’s, you know, it’s not a well-known fact, but she does drink, and oftentimes she would become just very depressed, and there is a lot of physical — a lot of physical violence that went on in the home between Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher, and it was face-scratching and kicking each other and fighting, and knocking each other around.”

“I feel that if Mr. Fletcher had psychiatric help and got his problems straightened out that, you know, he should have his visitation rights, but right now I’m just trying to protect Nathan against him, and against his parents, because I don’t feel that his parents have a fit home for a child or anyone.”

∗ ∗ ∗

As a candidate for mayor, Nathan Fletcher speaks often of his “factory worker” roots and the humble surroundings he grew up in. His parents, he notes, didn’t graduate from college.

He doesn’t mention his grandparents.

Verlyn Fletcher, Nathan’s paternal grandfather, served a prominent role in the rough-and-tumble politics of Reno, Carson City, and Las Vegas.

Verlyn Lowell Fletcher, Randy Fletcher’s father and Nathan’s grandfather, was a fabled Nevada political functionary. A 1937 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, he had been chief executive of various cities, including St. Petersburg, Florida, and, later, Eureka, California.

In November 1964, he was abruptly fired as city manager of Las Vegas, a notoriously mobbed-up town that relied chiefly for its income on gambling and various forms of vice, including illicit drugs and prostitution. “The city hall shakeup, long a rumor, apparently stemmed from a no-confidence vote of the city commission,” said a United Press International dispatch of November 28, “but all concerned were close-mouthed about the development.”

The wire service noted: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 1963 crime report listed Las Vegas as having the highest per capita crime rate of any city in the nation.”

Verlyn Fletcher told reporters he had “no idea” why he had been fired. “As an employee of the city I would like to know why,” he was quoted as saying.

The incident quickly faded from national notice and didn’t seem to hurt Fletcher’s reputation in Nevada. The Nevada State Journal in Reno reported on December 13, 1964: “The fact [that] Verlyn L. Fletcher has been hired as ‘temporary acting personnel director’ of Humboldt County hasn’t stopped Carson City speculation he may become the new state personnel director.

“The state post was resigned by Irvin Gartner, who is taking a higher-salaried job in the East.

“Fletcher, who resigned his $22,500 job as Las Vegas city manager to avoid being fired, would be no stranger to Carson City. Before going to Las Vegas he was a state-government consultant, and favorably impressed top officials with his work.”

∗ ∗ ∗

As rocky as Sherrie Ann Morgan Fletcher’s marriage had been, her long post-divorce battle with her husband over which of them was most suited to have custody of Nathan was rockier still.

Initially, Sherrie had been granted custody of the boy, with Randy having regular visitation rights.

In early 1979, Randy returned to court and charged that Sherrie and Nathan had disappeared. That April, a judge ordered that custody of the boy be taken away from Sherrie and given to Randy.

According to an April 2, 1979, court filing by Randy’s attorney, Sherrie had left Carson City with Nathan in early January. As a result, Randy was “unable to visit with the minor child and that this lack of visitation with and contact with the minor child is not in the best interest of the minor child.”

Sherrie later testified that, after breaking off a relationship with Carson City sheriff’s deputy Duane Axt, one of Randy’s coworkers, she fled with Nathan to the small town of Smackover, Arkansas on January 9, where she met her second husband Danny Farley the next day. Sherrie told an Arkansas social worker, “I met Danny in January of this year through my sister Barbara Morgan.” They married on January 28. Asked whether the end of the relationship with Axt had anything to do with her leaving Carson City, Sherrie replied, “No, I left because of Nathan, and my main concern was for Nathan, not my relationship with Mr. Axt.”

Asked about the swiftness of the union with Farley, Sherrie said, “We met, you know, we met, and we fell in love, and we wanted to be married. We didn’t see any reason for waiting.” (Reached by phone in Arkansas, Danny Farley said he was too busy to talk, but would later make himself available to discuss his history with Nathan Fletcher. He failed to call back and did not respond to subsequent voicemail messages.)

Farley said in his 1979 testimony that he took an immediate liking to Nathan, who lived with the couple until that March, when Randy finally discovered where Sherrie was, and, armed with the Nevada court’s order, went to retrieve the child.

“I was in the back yard hanging out clothes,” Sherrie testified. “Nathan was just a few feet away from me. Nathan saw his father. I believe he was hiding behind a tree, and he saw his father, and I screamed, and I lunged for Nathan, at which time I fell down.

“Randy picked Nathan up and took off running, at which time I followed them screaming, and there was a car waiting in the middle of the road running, and Randy and Nathan got in the car.

“All this time Nathan was screaming, as well as when they got in the car and drove away.”

The battle was far from over.

∗ ∗ ∗

During her June 1979 testimony in her legal challenge to Randy’s custody of Nathan, Sherrie reeled off a litany of lies and half-truths she claimed her ex-husband had told not only to her but to his employers. Randy became a reserve deputy with the Carson City sheriff’s department in July 1976; he later was hired as a full-time deputy, she said. But, Sherrie claimed, to get that job, Randy had not disclosed the fact that he wore a glass eye.

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monaghan May 25, 2012 @ 1:08 p.m.

What a story: Nathan Fletcher, the kid with hard-scrabble roots and a tumultuous childhood, ranks right up there with Theodore Dreiser's ambitious "Sister Carrie" in self-promotion, social ingratiation and unflinching personal advancement by any means necessary.

His most recent transformation has been from registered Republican to Independent after failing to get the County GOP endorsement for Mayor.

But Politician is his name and politics is his game. Handsome Nathan caught somebody's eye to get appointed to that GOP military/foreign affairs "institute" right out of Baptist college where he'd been in the Marine Reserves. He met and married a GOP publicist from the Bush White House. He now has two adopted children. He runs. He surfs. He works out. He identifies with the Marine Corps and with fundamentalist Christian beliefs. He has influential rich friends in high places. But this seemingly charmed adult life was forged from childhood chaos and disfunction, and Fletcher maintains an impenetrable facade and practical ruthlessness.

While for two-plus years he ran the San Diego office of GOP Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, he was doubly-paid as he spent eight months overseas in the Marines and got himself an official service commendation. Just before storied macho flying-ace Cunningham was indicted, convicted and sent to jail for selling votes for bribes, Fletcher strategically exited that cushy job. (When asked recently about this association by a reporter from the LA Times, Fletcher flatly denied ever "really" knowing his mentor Cunningham.)

Now Fletcher's a State Assemblyman from a safe suburban GOP seat and, at age 34, he's running for Mayor of San Diego as an "Independent." Fletcher refuses to interview or comment for this hometown Reader profile, but he scored two big-time interviews in the last month -- one with conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks and the other with celebrity reporter Patt Morrison from the Los Angeles Times. One wonders how that happened. One wonders how open or confident he really is if he won't talk to the local alternative paper just before the election.

Fletcher is presently trading on his greatest claim to fame: the terrible murder of Poway teenager Chelsea King. He had prominently, publicly and unseemly involved himself in that tragic event from the outset -- press conferences, photo ops, office staff updates on the crime to community groups, attending the high school stadium memorial -- and ultimately he ostentatiously authored a flawed and toothless bill in Sacramento called "Chelsea's Law." Yesterday Fletcher started running TV ads with Chelsea King's solemn grateful parents endorsing him for mayor. One wonders how one can allow this to happen. One wonders if there is any sacred line that NathanFletcher won't cross to get ahead.

Untold stories indeed.


Wellington May 26, 2012 @ 10:59 p.m.

This confirms my belief for a while that fletcher is a classic sociopath. This kind of maladjusted upbringing usually underlies the disorder. In the many dealings that I and others have had with him we have seen the typical behavior: oversized ego, ill at ease and unbalanced when challenged, lack of compassion, rehearsed rhetoric (like memorized lines), charming manipulations, lies easily, deceives regularly and unable to discern lines that should not be crossed (like using a human tragedy of immense proportion for personal political gain.)


monaghan May 27, 2012 @ 11:36 a.m.

Of the few glimpses we are permitted into Nathan Fletcher's true character, his willingness to use a "human tragedy of immense proportion for personal political gain" is the most terrible. We're talking about his expropriation of the Chelsea King murder as a ticket to ride.

How can Fletcher's recent TV ads featuring the King parents not be called out and denounced? Everyone claims to want a less debased political environment in San Diego -- better candidates who are qualified, honest, decent and motivated more by public service than personal vanity.

So where are those proud local honkers calling for "civility" in San Diego's political culture when they are confronted with this disturbing evidence of Nathan Fletcher's anything-goes style? Their silence is damning.


nan shartel May 28, 2012 @ 11:41 a.m.

the Kings seemed happy enough to have his help and he did what he promised to do...politicians can't help but be noticed when they complete a task

did any of u step up to the plate?

tell me about it

this sounds like an "any good deed can't go unpunished" scenario

why do i need to know all of this about his hard luck family??? sounds mighty prejudice to me


Wellington May 28, 2012 @ 4:04 p.m.

The importance of his background is that Fletcher has been lying about it, with his account of 2 Democratic parents. First, mom was a teacher, then started a battered women's shelter. Dad was a factory worker turned police officer. First to go to college, etc., etc. There has been a pattern of deception all along. On a recent telephone conference with constituents, Fletcher boasted of saving the state $1 billion by working with the Governor to close a tax loophole. 2 problems here: the bill died and there is now a citizens initiative to attempt to close this loophole; and he only supported it when it was revenue neutral and did not violate the Grover Norquist pledge. During this same call, If I had taken a drink every time Fletcher said the word, "Chelsea", I would have been very drunk. Yet, not one person asked a question pertaining to Chelsea's Law. It was frankly bizarre! And, he was unable to answer direct questions. Responses were in the form of a grandiose speech each time.

I've seen communities live through these kinds of tragedies and it is painful for everyone. I was in No CA when Polly Klaas was brutally murdered, endured the community pain of the loss of Danielle Van Damme and still hear stories of Cara Knott who was brutally assaulted and murdered by a San Diego Police Officer from Poway. I've never seen this kind of sick and twisted attempt to prey on community emotions for one's own political ambitions.


mridolf June 1, 2012 @ 4:08 a.m.

Cara Knott was killed by a California Highway Patrol officer, not a San Diego police officer. I don't know if he lived in Poway. Is that relevant?


nan shartel May 28, 2012 @ 7:40 p.m.

well this is what wikipedia has to say about him Nathan Fletcher (born December 31, 1976) is a member of the California State Assembly representing the 75th Assembly District He was elected as a Republican, but changed his affiliation to Independent in March 2012.[1] He served in the American military and also worked as a business adviser and consultant. In June 2011, Fletcher announced his candidacy for the mayorship of San Diego.[2] Contents [hide] 1 Military service 2 Legislative and political career 3 Personal 4 References 5 External links [edit]Military service

In 2004, Fletcher served eight months in the Sunni Triangle region of Iraq. Among some of his awards from this tour are the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat "V" for valor,[3] Combat Action Ribbon,[citation needed] and Iraqi Campaign Medal.[3] Fletcher served in United States Marine Corps Reserves as a Counterintelligence/Human Intelligence Specialist, working in the Horn of Africa on his final deployment, and earning the Joint Service Commendation Medal and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.[3] He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne Course and Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center.[4] [edit]Legislative and political career

In 2008 he was elected to the Assembly representing the 75th Assembly District, which includes the City of Poway, portions of Escondido, La Jolla, University City, Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, and Carmel Valley, and the communities of Fairbanks Ranch, and Rancho Santa Fe. He won with 52.2% of the vote.[5] He was re-elected in 2010 with 60.5% of the vote.[6] In his first term, Fletcher had a number of pieces of legislation signed into law, including legislation relating to veterans, job creation, water infrastructure, and health care.[7] He was chosen as one of two Republican Party whips in 2010.[8] He has advised on the democratic leaders in East Timor, Cambodia and Serbia[citation needed] as a trainer for the International Republican Institute. He is currently running for mayor in the City of San Diego.[2] [edit]Personal

Fletcher is an Ironman Triathlete, marathon runner, alpine mountaineer and mountain biker.[4] He is a graduate of California Baptist University,[4] where he received a President's Scholarship [9] and was a member of the CBU baseball team.[citation needed] He lives in San Diego with his wife, Mindy, who has served as Deputy Campaign Manager and Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.[10] Upon his return from Iraq, Fletcher received an appointment to the San Diego County Veterans Advisory Council.[citation needed] In addition, Fletcher has served on the Board of Directors for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Historical Society[11] and is a life member of both the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.[citation needed] When he ran for the California assembly, he was described as "a community activist and a businessman."[12]


monaghan May 28, 2012 @ 7:53 p.m.

Thank you, Wellington, for adding to the list of things I never knew about Nathan Fletcher.

He is a puppet of the usual vested interests; no one in the establishment media has questioned him closely about anything controversial from his past and he has been free to create a personal "history" from whole cloth. Thank you, Matt Potter, for lifting the veil.

Nan, I will tell you that there are good politicians in this world with scruples about "using" experiences they encounter in the course of their work. If they can help a bereaved family, for example, they may do their best behind the scenes and without drawing attention to themselves or taking credit. When dealing with a tragedy as profound as the Kings', a conscientious politician who is only peripherally involved would show respect, deference and modesty, and any helping act would be its own reward.

What Nathan Fletcher has done and is doing running the King family television testimonial is beyond the pale.


nan shartel May 28, 2012 @ 8:06 p.m.

i guess i just don't know enough about Fletcher to even have an opinion here...i don't have a good or bad opinion about him...i will now defer to the opinion of the good outraged ppl here...i'm way out in the east county and wouldn't be voting 4 a mayor anyway

what are ur resources concerning Fletcher authenticity???

i can't believe the Kings would do the testimonial if they weren't sincere


nan shartel May 28, 2012 @ 8:24 p.m.

my mother was a depression era Okie and had a 3rd grade education.... she became an alcoholic schizophrenic...my father a Bostonian had an 8th grade education and was a civil service carpenter

i and my sister (who is also schizophrenic) were removed from the home by the state 1 year after my dad and mom were divorced to never live at home again

i was in boarding schools and foster homes...married and divorced...went to school ...became a nurse....a neonatal respiratory specialist

i moved at the speed of light away from my jumbled unenthusiastic roots!!!

i used to think i must have been adopted because i couldn't possibly have been the biological issue of such flatly acculturated ignorant people

i guess i thought maybe Nathan Fletcher had escaped his upbringing and beginnings as well


monaghan May 28, 2012 @ 9:50 p.m.

Lo siento for your struggles, Nan. Public office requires a level of openness that is not generally required of regular citizens.

Nathan Fletcher is manipulating the facts of his life -- and our perceptions of him -- to advance himself politically. A perfect example of this is the wikipedia entry you mention: Fletcher undoubtedly wrote and posted it himself, as it never mentions his association with disgraced GOP Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham who went to jail for accepting bribes.


nan shartel May 29, 2012 @ 11:28 a.m.

i feel so politically naive...i read nearly all of Dorian Hardgrave's and Don Bauder's blogs and articles but i don't think i'll ever catch up

thx much Monaghan 4 ur explanations


wadams92101 May 30, 2012 @ 5:28 p.m.

Pretty pathetic low brow journalism, and judging by the comments, the readers aren't much better. All guilt by association. Dig into the childhood hardships of a candidate, and insinuate some sort of moral deficiency. Will we be seeing a similar piece on DeMaio, since I hear that his childhood wasn't a cakewalk either - or will the SD Reader's right wing ownership not allow that? Wow, I guess we should only vote for candidates with pampered upbringings.


nan shartel May 30, 2012 @ 6:48 p.m.

pathetics also want to know the truth...spill if u know something different Wadams...if not barrage ballooning has reached it maximum effect here!!

truth in general is highly acceptable at the Reader so go right ahead

enlighten me


monaghan May 30, 2012 @ 7:45 p.m.

Wadams92101, what are you talking about -- "guilt by association"? For having to watch Nathan Fletcher's scary-exploitive TV ads using the parents of murdered Chelsea King? For witnessing Fletcher distance himself from his former mentor and employer, disgraced and imprisoned Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham? For his cynical shift to political 'independent" after being denied the County GOP endorsement for mayor? I don't think you are paying attention to the facts that are coming to light about this guy.


nan shartel May 31, 2012 @ 2:28 p.m.

monaghan i love these ppl who come here once to spew their opinions then never return

i rarely consider what they have to say unless they stay and like on Don Bauder's posts battle it out



mridolf June 1, 2012 @ 4:25 a.m.

I voted for Fletcher by mail before reading this article. I'm still hoping he'll be in the runoff. But, with this article, and other things I've read in the Reader, I know he doesn't have my final vote guaranteed in the fall election. Much more will be revealed by then, if he gets in that is. My primary vote is just saying I want to hear more. I really appreciate Matt Potter and the Reader in general.


VictoriaTaft Aug. 22, 2013 @ 9:54 p.m.

You begin your piece by taking Fletcher to task for failing to include in his speeches information that it took you hundreds of words to convey. You would have him recount everything in his family history in every speech?

I also noted that buried inside between his mother's marriages and father's lying, that Fletcher served in Iraq and won a commendation for valorous acts. Valor. It's as if that was a throw away fact; an after thought. Selflessness and valor apparently are in great supply in San Diego political circles for them to be treated so cheaply by the media.

Fletcher sounds like he might be an opportunistic politico. That may be.

I don't know Nathan Fletcher. And I know a little bit more about...his mother after reading this story.

If you hate the dude, save yourself hundreds of words and just say so. It would be more honest.

From where I sit, he still sounds better than Bob Filner.


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