STOCKTON (CBS13) — Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva says he has nothing to hide since his electronics were taken by federal authorities at a San Francisco airport.
At first, it appeared he wasn’t going to say much of anything, saying before Tuesday’s Stockton City Council meeting he didn’t want to talk. But as the meeting drew to a close, he decided to speak to CBS13.
“The bottom line like I said before is, I have nothing to hide,” he said.
He insists he did nothing wrong when he was briefly detained last week by Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation after returning from a mayor’s conference in China.
Other mayors on the same trip told CBS13 they were not stopped, so why was Silva stopped? He says he has no idea.
“It may be random, it may not be,” he said. “There may be politics involved; maybe someone gave them an anonymous tip and said they were going to find spy secrets from China—I don’t know.”
Whatever the reason, Silva says in retrospect he now regrets turning over his city-issued computer, another computer and his cellphone along with his passwords. He calls the search illegal and unconstitutional.
“They’re not gonna find any espionage or anything like that on my computers or cell phone, but by me giving into that sort of search when I knew it was illegal—and it’ll be proven that they have to give the stuff back anyways—I wasn’t protecting the rest of the American people,” he said.
Silva’s attorneys filed a motion demanding the mayor’s electronics be returned, but so far it hasn’t happened.
When asked whether he was able to glean any information about why he was detained, Silva said, “I’m not answering these questions, no; everything I actually know I’ve told you.”
The FBI will not confirm the existence or nonexistence of an investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Sacramento also could not say anything.