STOCKTON (CBS13) — As former Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva sits in jail charged with a number of felonies, questions remain about the future of the Stockton Kids Club.
Silva is accused of embezzling money from the group. The doors to the Stockton Kids Club are still locked, days after authorities raided the building, looking for financial records that could pin Silva in a money laundering scheme.
The attorney who represents the club tells CBS13 he wasn’t aware of any financial wrongdoing, but doesn’t know how the accounting was done.
Neighbors of the club say they haven’t seen anyone going into or out of the building. Gabriela Cruz says she has driven past the club every day for the last four years, and says the club has been vacant.
“I don’t see anyone at all, no activity,” Cruz said.
CBS13 searched the club’s Facebook page, which has not been updated recently, and the club’s website has been shut down.
Is the club still operating?
“Operations are still going on, but they are limited,” said Doug Srulowitz, who represents the club.
Srulowitz says he just learned of the allegations against Silva, who has been running the club for years.
“The board members are not sure in which direction to go, because of the current situation,” Srulowitz added.
The Stockton Unified School District tells CBS13 it pulled out of its contract with the club in 2013 amid rumors of financial mishandling.
CBS13 asked Srulowitz if the board has enough funds to run the club, now that Silva is locked up.
“I haven’t had discussions about their financial condition,” replied Srulowitz.
The rumors have been circulating for more than 10 years, according to a former employee of the club who has requested to remain anonymous.
“It was not a surprise; it was more hurtful,” said the former employee.
The former employee alleges Silva was stealing donations made out to the club and then used them for private trips and boat parties.
The future of the Stockton Kids Club is in limbo.
“It was just another series of heartbreaks that those kids on the east side got accustomed to,” said the former employee.
Srulowitz is now advising the board to conduct its own investigation, but he says he must first file a motion with the court to get those financial documents back.