Stockton Mayor Charged in Youth Camp Scandal

     STOCKTON, Calif. (CN) — Stockton, Calif. Mayor Anthony Silva was arrested at his summer camp for underprivileged youth Thursday and faces multiple charges over his suspected involvement in an underage strip poker game.
     According to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Amador County Superior Court, Silva is charged with a felony count of eavesdropping or recording confidential communications and three misdemeanors, including furnishing an alcoholic beverage to a minor and cruelty to child by endangering health.
     The Amador District Attorney’s Office claims Silva provided six minors with alcohol at his camp in August 2015 and that it recovered photographs and video clips of the alleged illegal activities from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
     “The clip contains audio of a conversation between participants involved in a strip poker game that occurred in Silva’s bedroom. The conversation between the participants indicated that they were naked,” Amador County DA Todd Riebe said in a statement.
     Investigators recovered 23 photographs and four video clips.
     At least one of the teens involved was a ward of the juvenile court, the complaint says.
     Silva was arrested at his camp by agents from the FBI, Stockton Police Department and the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office. The incumbent mayor’s bail was set at $20,000.
     The FBI also recovered evidence of Silva secretly taping a conversation with a Stockton city employee, while another witness told investigators that Silva has cameras in his bedroom and at the Stockton Kid’s Club, Riebe said.
     The charges come amid recent revelations from the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office that a gun owned by Silva was used in the 2015 killing of a 13-year old. Investigators say a semi-automatic pistol that was stolen from Silva was used in two separate Stockton shootings.
     Silva says he informed authorities his gun was missing in March 2015, a month after the gun was used in the fatal shooting of Rayshawn Harris. Officers recovered the weapon during a domestic disturbance unrelated to the mayor.
     The San Joaquin County DA says Silva has not cooperated with the investigation into the recovered weapon.
     Silva is running for re-election this fall, facing off against 26-year-old Stanford University graduate Michael Tubbs.
     Following Silva’s arrest Thursday, the Stockton Police Officers Association called for the mayor’s resignation.
     “For the past 3 1/2 years, Mayor Anthony Silva has had misstep after misstep, and they have been shrugged off,” the association said in a statement. “The mayor’s actions have formed not merely a dark cloud, but a full-fledged storm over the mayor’s ability to govern and represent the city of Stockton.”
     Stockton is a city of 302,000 located 35 miles south of Sacramento. In July 2012 it became the largest U.S. city to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, which it exited in 2015.

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