Content warning: The information in this article covers topics of a sensitive nature including child pornography.
Former Santa Clara Human Resources Director Gregory Borboa is slated to appear in court on April 11, charged with possession of child pornography — almost two years after his personal and City electronic devices were seized by the FBI. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
Borboa was dismissed following the FBI action, after Santa Clara police officials urged Santana to remove him from City property, according to City Hall sources. In his 14 months in Santa Clara, Borboa oversaw Worker’s Compensation risk management.
Borboa is the third Santana hire to be indicted for a felony.
Former Assistant to the City Manager and Fremont City Manager Mark Danaj was indicted in March for embezzlement. Former Oakland Coliseum Executive Director Scott McKibben, whom Santana hired as Levi’s Stadium Executive Director in 2018 but who ultimately backed out, was indicted for soliciting kickbacks in 2019 but ultimately pled guilty to a lesser charge.
The investigation into Borboa began in the summer of 2019, when messenger app company Kik alerted Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that user account “guidosarducci1990” had used the app to send a sexually explicit photo of a minor.
The images had been identified by Microsoft’s PhotoDNA and subsequently reviewed by Kik’s law enforcement team. According to reports, the software identified an image on Borboa’s phone as a known child pornography image as designated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Investigators say, Kik further told HSI that the pictures had been sent from a Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit mobile phone with an IP address that was connected to Borboa’s San José home. Borboa used the “guidosarducci1990” screen name on Facebook and Twitter, where he followed “female child models, child cheerleaders, and hashtags for kid models, tween girls, tween beachwear,” HSI Special Agent Brian Benson wrote in the indictment.
On May 19, 2020, the FBI executed a search warrant on Borboa, seizing a laptop, two discs, three phones and his City computer.
The indictment paints a picture of a compulsion of mammoth dimensions.
“The phone contained 1,605 images and 36 videos that appeared to depict questionable content,” wrote Benson. “Of these, nearly all of the images and approximately half the videos displayed content identified as child pornography.”
According to investigators, Borboa’s phone also contained Snapchat communications from the day before the devices were seized in which he traded pornographic videos with another Snapchat user that included sexual activity with prepubescent girls.
The HSI report says Borboa admitted to possession and to the Snapchat conversation and acknowledged that the girls in the pictures were children, saying, “You can’t look at them and not know they’re not underage.”
Borboa’s plea hearing is April 11 at 1:30 in U.S. Northern District Federal Court in San José. (Borboa Indictment 2022)
Despite the fact that Borboa is likely to be convicted of a felony, he will not lose his CalPERS pension unless he committed crimes on the job.
Borboa was one of five former Manhattan Beach employees that Santana hired — Mark Danaj, Kendra Davis, Nadine Nader and Teresa Zadroga-Haase were the others. Borboa’s salary was $190,000, roughly $35,000 (23 percent) higher than his Manhattan Beach salary.
Over the 14 months he worked for Santa Clara, he collected $206,370 in salary and benefits. Prior to Manhattan Beach, Borboa worked for the City of Stockton and Kings and Fresno counties.
In a previous iteration of this article, some readers inferred that former City Manager Deanna Santana was in some way a party to Borboa’s alleged crimes. This is not true. Santana faces no charges in connection to this case. She dismissed Borboa immediately after she became aware of his conduct.