STOCKTON (CBS13) — A battle is brewing between Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs and one of his constituents after concerns were raised in a private message made on social media.
The complaint filed said the mayor felt threaten by Kevin Shawver, who said Tubbs abused his authority by the calling the police on him.
Shawver is one of the many people passionate about protecting and restoring the Miracle Mile. He now finds himself in a battle with the mayor.
“I just expressed frustration, that’s it. I committed no crime, I made no threats,” Shawver said.
Shawver is filing a complaint against the mayor and the Stockton Police Department. He is claiming abuse of authority and retaliation after voicing concerns about the ongoing problems on the mile, including the nine businesses evicted and recent fires.
“He messaged a second time, basically told me not to call him out of his name or use profanity otherwise he wouldn’t ever respond again, and I told him I didn’t care,” said Shawver.
According to the complaint, the mayor felt he was being threatened by Shawver, who also claims Mayor Tubbs filed a false police report which launched an eight-day investigation. Shawver is represented by attorney Allen Sawyer, who also represents former Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva.
“He wanted this constitute to be intimated and he wanted him to know that any time he wants, the police will show up at anybody’s door he sends them to, and the only way he could have done that is by distorting what actually occurred,” said Sawyer.
In a statement, the Office of the Mayor said, “Mayor Tubbs did not ask for an investigation. These allegations are simply not true. In fact, the mayor does not have the authority to direct city staff to initiate any investigation. Here are the facts — Mayor Tubbs received a Facebook message about an active fire in the city. Out of concern for the public’s safety, the mayor passed this message to the city manager. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Sawyer, a local political strategist and criminal defense attorney for our last mayor is trying to grab headlines.”
Stockton Police only said they are aware of the complaint and will be investigating thoroughly. As for the threat? A local professor said there is a thin line between free speech and something considered a threat.
“You should understand that the constitution allows people to say lots and lots of things, and you should understand as well the internet and social media has made this whole free speech question so complicated,” said Leslie Jacobs, a professor at the McGeorge School of Law.
The plan now is to wait on results from the Stockton Police findings on the matter. Shawver plans to take his case to the civil grand jury for an independent investigation.