Stockton, California might be known best to some as the home of Nick and Nate Diaz, the trash-talking mixed martial arts brothers. However, the city's mayor has found himself in the spotlight recently due to a questionable poker game.
Anthony Silva landed in hot water this week as he has had to profess his innocence in a troubling strip poker scandal. The 41-year-old, who was voted in as mayor in 2012, was arrested on August 4 for giving alcohol to underage boys while recording them in a game of strip poker. This allegedly happened at a camp for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Stockton, of which Silva is the CEO and president.
Silva was picked up by the FBI last Thursday at the camp, which is located in the Sierra Mountains. Silva, who was released on a bail of $20,000, is accused of being with a number of underage people, which includes a 16-year-old. The report says that he gave alcohol to at least six people who were under 21, which is the legal drinking age in the United States.
Then, Silva allegedly recorded it with his cell phone, unbeknownst to the people involved. In other words, it wasn't just a rowdy get together with the boys that included a few selfies. The authorities searched Silva's cellphone and found 23 photographs and four video clips but not all of those were taken on that day. The one damning piece of evidence is said to be a video where the camera was covered (after the phone was set on its back) where conversations suggested that the boys were naked.
Silva's perspective of the poker game is quite different as he says it was simply a counselors' party. He has stated that everyone in the incident was at least 18 years old, that he never gave anyone alcohol, and that he didn't record them. His lawyer says that he won't resign from his position and that this whole plot is a plan to hurt Silva's political reputation as a Republican.
Mayoral candidate Michael Tubbs spoke publicly on Monday, but didn't call for the mayor's resignation. If convicted, Silva could face up to three years in jail. The proceedings are to begin when he has his arraignment on August 18.
However, this isn't the only problem that Silva has on his hands right now. On February 23, 2015, a 13-year-old boy was shot and killed with a gun that was registered to Silva, and Stockton prosecutors say that Silva wouldn't cooperate with them on the case. Silva has stated that the gun was his, but that it was stolen from his house, so he is actually a victim of theft.
It should be a bit worrying that a city's mayor finds himself embroiled in not only one of these problems but multiple such problems, and it is going to be interesting to see what Stockton officials do with his position as he tries to untangle himself from these allegations.