SAN DIEGO - MARCH 3: Congressman Randy Duke Cunningham (2nd R) walks into Federal Courthouse during the sentencing phase at the U.S. District Courthouse March 3, 2006 in San Diego, California. Cunningham was found guilty of conspiracy and tax evasion for accepting more than 2.4 million in bribes and could face up to 10 years in prison. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
As the local electorate takes a closer look at its mayoral candidates, one of those candidates is trying to distance himself from his former boss and convicted felon Randy "Duke" Cunningham.
Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher worked for Cunningham for about two years, but maintains that he knew nothing about the corruption in the office where he served as district director.
Cunningham, as many San Diegans remember, was involved in a series of bribery scandals throughout his terms as a congressman.
Our media partner the Voice of San Diego examined the relationship between the two in a special report. A hand-written letter from Cunningham, along with an in-depth look at Fletcher’s interactions in Cunningham’s office, show no connection between the two politicians.
"I will tell you that neither Nathan or any of my former staff should suffer for my own sins," Cunningham wrote in a handwritten letter to VOSD from prison.
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Fletcher’s lack of involvement with Cunningham’s corruption, the report found, is mostly due to the fact that Fletcher was on active military duty for a bulk of his time on Cunningham’s staff. Fletcher returned and quit his job with Cunningham in January 2005 – just five months before one of the first scandals broke.
"At the end of the day, I didn't know anything, I didn't do anything, I didn't see anything," Fletcher told the VOSD. "I didn't have any connection or relationship or tie to any of it. There's no stress or worry about it at all."
For more on this investigation, read the Voice of San Diego’s report here.