STOCKTON, CA - The Stockton City Council voted to admonish Mayor Anthony Silva for releasing confidential information.
"Nobody's above the law of the land," council member Michael Tubbs said. "No one is too good to be reprimand."
The city council voted 5 to 2 to pass a "Resolution of Admonition" from the council to Silva for disclosing information discussed in closed sessions about the near-hire of a new city manager.
In early November, Silva said David Garcia, the Coachella city manager, would replace Stockton City Manager Bob Deis; but Garcia turned down the position because a deal couldn't be reached over his salary.
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City Attorney John Luebberke said Silva violated the Brown Act when he released Garcia's name. Section 54963 (a) of the Brown Act prohibits people from releasing any confidential information discussed in closed session meetings, unless they are specifically authorized to do so.
The resolution also said the council considered all legal options against Silva. Instead of taking formal action, the council issued the resolution, and referred "this matter to the San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury; and ... thereby directed [Luebberke] to refer this matter to the Civil Grand Jury on their behalf, which action has already been taken."
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Right before Tuesday night's meeting, Mayor Silva expressed his reaction to the council's anticipated vote.
"It just says City Council wants to show me it's in charge. It doesn't kick me out of office," Silva said. "It doesn't teach me a lesson. I didn't do anything wrong."
During the meeting, many Stockton residents stood up for Silva, saying that it was a waste of city council time to even consider the resolution. Others criticized the council.
"What you act like is a bunch of 6th grade bullies to the mayor," Stockton resident Karen Griggs said.
"We don't want you guys to undermine him," Stockton resident John Fief said. "You guys need to change."
Council members Elbert Holman, Katherine Miller, Moses Zapien, Dyane Burgos, Medina and Michael Tubbs voted to pass the resolution. Silva and Vice Mayor Paul Canepa voted "no" on the resolution.
Stockton is still without a permanent replacement for Deis, who retired at the start of November.