STOCKTON — An arrest warrant has been issued for former Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva.
The warrant lists the charges Silva faces as misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement, money laundering and grand theft. Bail is set at $1 million.
On Thursday, investigators from the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office and the FBI searched the Stockton Kids Club and Silva’s home. Silva was CEO of the youth organization when it was known as the Boys and Girls Club. The nonprofit lost its national charter in 2013.
The district attorney’s office said the charges are not connected to Silva’s legal problems with a city-run children’s camp in Amador County.
“I think we should all keep an open mind until we know the details,” said Silva’s attorney, N. Allen Sawyer in a phone interview.
Silva left on a trip to South America earlier this week and is arranging to return by Monday, Sawyer said.
Another of Silva’s lawyers, Mark Reichl, also spoke to the Business Journal by phone and said Silva had planned his trip for “at least a couple of weeks” and that the search was a “complete surprise.”
“Nobody would leave when they know they’re going to be searched,” he said.
According to Sawyer, Silva learned of the search Thursday when neighbors near the Kids Club called his cell phone to tell him investigators were there.
Sawyer said it wasn’t clear who initiated the complaint about financial wrongdoing, but it didn’t appear to come from the Kids Club Board of Directors.
Sawyer suggested the investigation was part of vendetta the District Attorney’s office has against Silva.
“It’s the same investigative agency that did the case in Amador. They spent a year putting it together, and it fell apart,” Sawyer said. “I don’t know if ‘political’ is the right word but motivated is definitely accurate.”
Reichl’s reponse was similar.
“(Silva) probably still has enemies from his days in politics,” he said.
Silva was arrested last August at a city-run youth camp in Amador County and faced criminal charges related to endangering minors. The felony charges were later reduced to misdemeanors. A phone appearance was scheduled for this week, but Silva was not required to be on it, Sawyer said.