New charges against former Stockton mayor are 'sour grapes,' defense attorney says

For the second time in a year, former Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva is facing felony criminal charges — this time for suspected financial crimes tied to a kids’ club, prosecutors said.

Following the service of search warrants at Silva’s home and at the Stockton Kids Club this week, San Joaquin County prosecutors Friday released Silva’s $1-million arrest warrant to the public, which accused him of money laundering, grand theft, misappropriation of public funds and embezzlement, among other charges.

Last year, Silva was charged with three misdemeanors and a felony related to a party with teens from the same club that included alcohol and a secret audio recording. The single felony was reduced to a misdemeanor, a fact that Silva’s attorney, Allen Sawyer, says is behind the newest case.

“We think it’s a little bit of sour grapes and our client looks forward to fighting to clear his name,” Sawyer said. The earlier case is still pending.

Silva was out of the country when his home and the business were searched and the new charges filed.

“He’s angry, he’s frustrated, he’s tired. But at the same time, he’s going to muster the will to fight on,” Sawyer said.

Silva was arrested Sunday at San Francisco International Airport, the Associated Press reported. The former mayor, who had returned from a vacation in Colombia, was booked in San Joaquin County Jail, and his bail was set at $1 million, according to jail records.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the Stockton Kids Club was formerly the Boys & Girls Club of Stockton, which was stripped of its charter in 2013 when Silva was its chief executive. Silva remained involved with the club under its new name, prosecutors said.

A district attorney’s office spokesman declined to elaborate on the allegations against Silva.

joseph.serna@latimes.com

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