STOCKTON (CBS13) — Former Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva is out on bail, 10 days after his arrest on embezzlement charges.
Silva was arrested on March 5 at San Francisco International Airport after returning to the country from Colombia. He’s accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars between 2010 and 2014 from the Stockton Boys and Girls Club, which was later renamed the Stockton Kids Club after the group lost its charter.
After his release, Silva says he’s focused on being with his son and clearing his name. Earlier this week, a judge lowered his bail from $1 million to $350,000.
“Now that I’m out, I can go about living a normal life, and of course fighting to clear my name,” he said.
The 42-year-old former mayor of Stockton was going to be released on Monday, but the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office required Silva to document the bail money was from a legitimate source due to the charges he was facing.
We asked Allen Sawyer, Silva’s attorney, who was responsible for posting the $350,000.
“For privacy reasons, I can’t discuss where he got the funds, but they passed the approval of everybody,” he said.
Silva is accused of committing six felonies, including money laundering and embezzlement from the Stockton Kids Club where he served as CEO.
Silva maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty in court last week.
“In the U.S., and especially in San Joaquin County, people are guilty until proven innocent, and that is a fact because I was in a cold hole for 10 days,” he said.
He was also quick to squash rumors that he was trying to escape arrest by heading to Colombia. Investigators raided his home and the Stockton Kids Club just after he left.
“Anyone out there who thought I was going to flee, that was just silly,” he said. “I think a lot of people out there in the world have seen the good I’ve done and they know basically that when I speak, I speak the truth.”
He’s a free man after 10 days in jail, determined to put a long list of charges behind him.
“Without my name, then I don’t have anything else. And so I’m going to do whatever it takes to defend that name…and to clear it,” said Silva.
His next court date is scheduled for sometime in April. That’s when a trial date will be set.