Nathan Fletcher Cuts Ties With Controversial Alternative Birthing Center - NBC 7 San Diego

Nathan Fletcher Cuts Ties With Controversial Alternative Birthing Center

On the center's Facebook page, owner Doctor Robert Biter refers to Fletcher as “One of my best friends... who does the right thing, despite political opinion."

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    An image of Nathan Fletcher in NBC 7's studios in October 2012.

    A former state assemblyman and two-time candidate for San Diego Mayor is featured prominently in publicity for a controversial “alternative birthing center.”

    Nathan Fletcher, who now works for the hi-tech powerhouse Qualcomm, is featured in a detailed posting on the "Babies by the Sea Birthing Center" Facebook page.

    A health department document lists Fletcher as one of four members of the Center’s board-of-directors.

    On the center's Facebook page, owner Doctor Robert Biter refers to Fletcher as “One of my best friends... who does the right thing, despite political opinion."

    NBC 7 Investigates made repeated attempts by phone and email to contact Fletcher for a comment on his endorsement of the center, and its owner, Dr. Robert Biter, who was the target of very serious discipline, by the Medical Board of California.

    In response to our questions, Fletcher spokesperson Rachel Laing now says the former-Marine Corps officer and combat veteran has resigned from the birthing center’s board, “due to the time and travel commitments of Nathan's job."

    Laing declined to specify when Fletcher resigned his directorship.

    Laing did explain that Fletcher and Dr. Biter became friends six years ago, when Biter delivered one of Fletcher’s two sons.

    She released the following statement on Fletcher's behalf:

    "Rob and Nathan became friends six years ago, when Dr. Biter delivered Nathan’s son Zach. Nathan has acted as a volunteer adviser to Rob, but due to the time and travel commitments of Nathan's job, his service on the board of Babies by the Sea was brief. He’s no longer on the board, but he and Rob remain personal friends."

    This image of Nathan Fletcher (L) and Robert Biter was posted on the Instagram account connected to Biter's Twitter feed with the date of July 19, 2014.
    Photo credit: Babies by the Sea Instagram

    Dr. Biter is the target of intense criticism from a North County couple who blame him for the death of their unborn child.

    Amber and Michael Lukacs filed a malpractice lawsuit against Biter, who denies responsibility for the infant’s death.

    The Lukacs’s attorney said Biter has no malpractice insurance to cover any damages the Lukacs family could win from a verdict or settlement.

    And court documents obtained by NBC 7 Investigates reveal that Biter filed for bankruptcy, which will protect his personal assets from a civil judgment.

    The Lukacs family has organized a protest at the Center’s grand opening party, scheduled for Saturday afternoon, September 27 in Encinitas.

    They have also built a Facebook page, “Stop Robert Biter”, that explains in detail why they think Biter is unfit to run the Birthing Center.

    Biter surrendered his medical license last year after the Medical Board of California accused him of gross negligence, incompetence and unprofessional conduct in his treatment of Amber Lukcas and her unborn baby.

    Before that, the Medical Board had twice suspended Biter’s license, and placed him on seven years’ probation, with strict terms and conditions.

    In a written statement provided to NBC 7 Investigates, Biter said "The loss of [their] baby was a horrible tragedy and was devastating to all involved. It is absolutely heartbreaking, and despite their animosity towards me, I extend my deepest sympathies to the Lukacses…”

    Biter also confirmed that he is “no longer practicing medicine in California” and will have only an administrative, non-medical role at the birthing center, which offers an alternative to hospital-based labor-and-delivery.

    In a phone conversation Friday with NBC 7, Biter declined to comment about Fletcher's association with the Birthing Center.

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