Anaheim Mayor Resigns Amid Federal Corruption Probe
Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu announced his resignation Monday, a week after a damaging FBI search warrant affidavit became public. That affidavit, filed in Orange County Superior Court, alleges that Sidhu fed insider information to Los Angeles Angels officials to gain leverage in exchange for campaign contributions.
Sidhu's resignation is effective Tuesday. He has not been charged with a crime.
The mayor has come under scrutiny in a federal corruption probe linked to the proposed $320 million Angel Stadium sale, which an Orange County Superior Court Judge put on hold last week.
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley says the mayor should never have had the sole negotiating authority with the Angel Stadium land sale.
"I think there's going to be plenty of further investigations going on public record requests," Foley said, saying litigation likely mean more emails and text messages will become public. "The FBI sounds like they already have it all. So I don't think that Anaheim should move forward with the deal at this time."
His resignation comes after multiple calls by other public officials for the mayor to step down, including from nearly all Anaheim councilmembers.
At a city council meeting last Tuesday, Councilmember Avelino Valencia called the alleged actions “extremely disheartening.” Valencia called on the mayor to resign and “for him to also focus on his legal defense and let our city move ahead from this chapter.”
In a statement, Sidhu's attorney, Paul S. Meyer, said the mayor "did not leak secret information in hopes of a political campaign contribution" and that "no closed session material, no secret information, was disclosed by the mayor."
"His unwavering goal from the start has been to keep the Angels in Anaheim, so that the this vibrant social and economic relationship would continue," Meyers said, saying his client was resigning in order to "allow this great City to move forward without distraction."