By Drew Bollea

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Last week, Former Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva was in Colombia. On Monday, while wearing a red jumpsuit and shackles, he listened as a San Joaquin County judge upheld his $1 million bond.

“This is the theft of public money,” said Tori Salazar, the San Joaquin County District Attorney, “this is the theft from our children.”

Salazar had some harsh words for the former mayor following his court appearance.

“He destroyed 45 years of good work by the Boys and Girls Club,” Salazar continued, during a news briefing.

Silva is charged with six felonies ranging from misuse of public funds to embezzlement, money laundering and grand theft.

“A lot of information came out today. We’re still digesting it ourselves,” said Allen Sawyer, Silva’s attorney.

Sawyer says Silva is not guilty because the board of the Stockton Kids Club says embezzlement never took place.

“I have no knowledge of anyone on the board of directors complaining about the defendant in this case such that charges should be brought in this case,” said Doug Srulowitz, an attorney for the Stockton Kids Club which was formerly the Stockton Boys and Girls Club.

Srulowitz was authorized to speak by the Stockton Kids Club board’s chair, Sharon Simas. She was Silva’s executive assistant while he was the Mayor.

“The organization is going to have to make that determination because it’s their money,” said Sawyer.

Prosecutors with San Joaquin County see things differently.

“It was taken, stolen, and misused by him,” said Salazar.

Assistant District Attorney Robert Himelblau says Silva ran a “double dipping” scheme. During a presentation to media, Himelblau said Silva received reimbursements from the national Boys and Girls Club that were already paid by the local school district. Himelblau alleges money was then deposited into Silva’s own account.

“There was a lot of cash that flowed into Mr. Silva’s account that we cannot find out the source,” said Himelblau.

The county alleges Silva used the organization’s account to pay for personal expenses as well, including a recurring subscription to a dating website, expense related to trips to the Philippines and South Lake Tahoe, and retail purchases.

But supporters say the evidence won’t back up the county’s claims.

“Who did he steal from? Who did he embezzle the money from?” questioned longtime friend of Silva, Ralph White.

Silva’s attorney cautions the public to hold their judgment until more information is known.

“Let the evidence unfold as it gets released because there is often two sides to every story,” said Sawyer.

Silva is due back in court on March 13 for another bond hearing. He’s currently being held on a $1 million bond.


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