What is happening: 2 mayors arrested in separate sex-for-meth, strip-poker-with-minor stings

Booking photos of Anthony Silva, the mayor of Stockton, Calif., and Richard “Scott” Silverthorne, mayor of Fairfax, Va., on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. (Photos: Amador County Sheriff's Office; Fairfax County, Va., Police Department via AP)
Booking photos of Anthony Silva, the mayor of Stockton, Calif., and Richard “Scott” Silverthorne, mayor of Fairfax, Va., on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. (Photos: Amador County Sheriff’s Office; Fairfax County, Va., Police Department via AP)

One more and it’s a trend.

In two separate arrests on opposite coasts over a 24-hour period, one mayor was accused of exchanging drugs for sex and another was accused of playing strip poker with a minor and secretly recording video of it.

Fairfax, Va., Mayor Richard “Scott” Silverthorne was arrested on Thursday after allegedly exchanging methamphetamine for a “sexual encounter” with undercover detectives, the Fairfax County Police Department announced Friday.

Silverthorne, who also worked as a substitute teacher in Fairfax County public schools, was arrested at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Tysons Corner, Va., and charged with “felony distribution of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.” Two others were arrested in connection with Silverthorne.

Silverthorne, a third-term mayor, ran for reelection under personal duress, facing such obstacles as being laid off, filing for bankruptcy, the foreclosure of his home, and a diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma — a non-deadly form of skin cancer, according to NBC News.

“I ask that you allow the process to proceed before rushing to judgment (as tough as that may be),” Silverthorne wrote on his Facebook page Friday, according to NBC Washington.

Across the country, Anthony Silva, mayor of Stockton, Calif., was arrested Thursday on charges of playing strip poker with a minor and providing alcohol to youths, according to the Los Angeles Times. Silva was taken into custody at Silver Lake Camp, a camp that he runs for disadvantaged adolescents.

According to prosecutors, Silva not only allegedly engaged in these activities on the night of Aug. 7, 2015, but also illegally recorded photos and videos on his cellphone.

Silva was taken into custody by the FBI on Thursday but was released that afternoon on $20,000 bail after denying accusations through his attorney.

“His response is that he is absolutely innocent, that these are false charges that are done at the midnight hour of a campaign,” said his attorney, Neat Sawyer, according to the Wall Street Journal. “They are minor charges, but they have maximum political impact, so he is going to fight them, and he is going to go to trial, and he will be exonerated.”

This is not the first time that controversy has touched Silva, according to the Times. A 19-year-old woman accused him of sexual battery in 2011, but no charges were filed. In 2013, Bob Deis, then city manager, claimed Silva recorded their conversations without telling him.

In 2014, Silva got into a fight inside a limousine that left him in handcuffs but not arrested. Silva was sued by the limousine driver and fellow passengers. One charge was made on behalf of a woman who accused the mayor of making unwelcome advances.

Finally, in 2015, 13-year-old Rayshawn Harris was killed with a gun stolen from the mayor’s house that was registered to Silva. Two guns have been stolen from two of Silva’s homes in the past two years.

Amid all of this controversy, according to Silva’s attorney, he still plans to run for reelection in November. However, according to the L.A. Times, the Stockton Police Officers Association released a statement calling for Silva’s resignation: “The mayor’s actions have formed not merely a dark cloud, but full fledged storm, over the mayor’s ability to govern and represent the city of Stockton.”