Anaheim City Council Votes To Void Angel Stadium Deal
The Anaheim City Council unanimously voted late Tuesday night to void the $325 million sale of Angel Stadium to team owner Arte Moreno’s company.
“The minimum we can do tonight is withdraw from the deal … because this deal is the fruit of a poisoned tree,” said City Council member Jose Moreno, who made the motion to void the sale.
The vote happened just before 11 p.m. after hours of public comment and discussion. Dozens of residents spoke vehemently against the deal, and many called for election finance reform.
Anaheim's Mayor Harry Sidhu submitted his resignation Monday after it was divulged that he is the subject of an FBI corruption probe. The investigation became known through an FBI affidavit filed May 16 in Orange County Superior Court.
An FBI agent investigating the case alleges Sidhu shared privileged information with the Los Angeles Angels during ongoing negotiations to sell the stadium and adjoining property to the baseball team. Sidhu reportedly sought financial support from the Angels for his re-election campaign.
Sidhu denies wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime.
The state Attorney General and courts agreed to hit the pause button on the deal for 60 days so the Attorney General can learn more about the FBI’s investigation. But Angels team owner Arte Moreno’s company says the deal was negotiated in good faith and should move forward, and has given the city a June 14 deadline for approval.
Anaheim City Manager James Vanderpool told council members that Moreno’s company SRB management sent him a letter threatening to sue the city for breach of contract if the deal did not move forward.
Several speakers called for the resignation of council members who have been allied with Sidhu and supportive of the Angels deal. Others called for councilman Moreno to be appointed interim mayor because he has been a voice of opposition.