A recent report from Conflict Watch, a program of the Transparency Foundation, found that San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher made multiple stock trades in March and April of 2020 in companies that allegedly benefited financially from pandemic related lockdowns*. Fletcher invested in companies like Zoom, CVS health, LHC Group, Inc., and Cisco, all of which saw increases in share prices due to the pandemic.
*The Transparency Center obtained a copy of Fletcher’s Form 700 from 2020 (a Statement of Economic Interest detailing an elected official’s personal finances, income, real estate, and stock holdings).
In 2021, Conflict Watch received a complaint from a resident of San Diego County that alleged that the chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Nathan Fletcher, had potentially profited personally from his policies related to pandemic lockdowns.
After receiving the complaint, Conflict Watch initiated an investigation and demanded records from Fletcher’s county supervisorial office. Fletcher has failed to comply with the records request under the California Public Records Act (CPRA), and Conflict Watch has retained legal counsel to litigate the matter.
Based on news coverage, board meeting minutes, and press materials distributed by Fletcher’s office, Conflict Watch claims that Fletcher backed some of the most extreme views and policies on community lockdowns in the entire country.
Matt Stockton, Treasurer of the Transparency Foundation, says the findings of the Conflict Watch investigation raise serious conflict of interest concerns that need to be addressed.
“Stock trades like these can undermine public trust and confidence in their elected officials and Supervisor Nathan Fletcher at least has a lot of explaining to do,” said Stockton.
“We shine a light on how elected officials may be profiting or benefiting personally from policy positions they take while in office — and this kind of allegation has been made across the country against federal, state and local officials who have been particularly aggressive in supporting draconian policies such as lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Stockton. “Our question is if a policy seems extreme or doesn’t follow the science, is there another factor at play like personal or political benefit?” he asked.