STOCKTON (CBS13) — The Stockton Kids Club has a rocky history, with former Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva spending much of the time as its leader.
“He’s been in the club for a very very long time,” said Silva’s attorney Allen Sawyer.
The organization used to be associated with the Boys and Girls Club of America. With Silva as the Executive Director, it operated on a nearly $1.5 million budget.
That was until the club lost its charter in 2013. The club also lost nearly $700,000 in funding from the local school district.
“He’s done everything to keep that club afloat, so he’s very active,” said Sawyer.
It was renamed the Stockton Kids Club in 2013. It was still headed by Silva.
There were troubles with the Stockton Kids Club as recently as Feb. 28. The organization was served a tax filing delinquency notice by the State Attorney General’s office. No taxes had been filed since 2013.
The warning from the State Department of Justice was issued one day before Silva left the country on vacation.
He’s now facing embezzlement, misuse of funds, grand theft and money laundering charges once he returns.
“They were trying to get programs and start programs that I didn’t think were benefiting the community,” said Jason Gonzalez, the former board vice-chair of the then-Boys and Girls Club.
He says under Silva, it was poorly run.
“It became more of a friends group and I wasn’t a friend in the group,” said Gonzalez.
Former board members we spoke with in 2013 also said A lack of leadership was to blame for the charter being pulled. The club president, Anthony Silva admitted in an email to turning down money to avoid an audit.
“I’ve been told by fairly good sources that the Boys and Girls Club of America when they saw that he didn’t want an audit, thought that was the final straw,” said Terry Hull in 2013. He resigned shortly after.
The San Joaquin District Attorney’s office has not released any details about the charges. Silva’s attorney says the former mayor will be back in the country by Monday. Sawyer says Silva will fight the charges and his $1 million dollar bond.