Stockton mayor calls cops after reporter barred from meeting

dwalters@sacbee.comJuly 25, 2013 

7M21MAYOR

Anthony Silva listens to public comments at a City Council meeting on Tuesday. The Republican's landslide election victory in November shocked political observers.

BRIAN BAER — Special to The Bee

Stockton's controversial Mayor Anthony Silva is making news again - by calling the city cops after a Stockton Record reporter was denied access to a meeting of the organization the mayor heads.

The bankrupt city's mercurial mayor, who was profiled last week by The Bee's David Siders, apparently didn't like a Record reporter, Roger Phillips, attending a meeting of the Boys and Girls Club, which he runs. Phillips left the meeting after Silva and the board president told him he would not be able to attend, said Record Editor Mike Klocke. Silva called police after the reporter had left, Klocke said.

Record columnist Michael Fitzgerald describes Monday's incident in this blog posting:

"Phillips had legitimate business there. Silva's leadership of the club - which is losing clients and facing a sexual harassment suit - bears on his qualifications to lead the city. The fact that his job is one of two full-time positions he holds, though he is paid to be Stockton's full-time mayor, also has a bearing. When the paper covers Silva running the Boys and Girls Club, it is also covering him not running the city of Stockton.

"Furthermore, the club gets public funds, and interacts with our children.

"Nobody is saying some personnel matters should not be confidential. But the public has a right to know how the club is being managed. Therefore the club has a responsibility to segregate confidential matters from matters rightfully public.

"Silva's action implies the club cannot manage this routine balance without going overboard. Though possibly Silva's temper and poor judgment are solely to blame. He seems to have believed he could curry the press and maintain voter popularity via simplistic sound bites. When reporters start asking tough questions, he classfies them as foes. He apparently got his leadership philosophy from 'Game of Thrones.'

"But you can ask a reporter to leave without encumbering the overtaxed Stockton Police Department. We've been kicked out of better places."

Editor's Note: This post and headline have changed from previous versions to clarify that the reporter had already left the meeting when police arrived.

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