Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu, a Republican, resigned effective Tuesday amid a corruption probe by the Federal Bureau Investigation over the land sale of Angels Stadium – a probe that’s already resulted in money laundering charges being brought against one of Sidhu’s political allies, former Anaheim Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Ament.
In an affidavit, an FBI agent says that Sidhu shared inside information with the Angels in order to hopefully make a deal that would lead to $1 million in campaign contributions from Angels executives:
“I also believe, based on recorded conversations conducted between CW2 and SIDHU, and as illustrated below, that another motivating factor was SIDHU’s intention to solicit monetary compensation from an individual, in the form of campaign contributions, in exchange for pushing the stadium deal through on more favorable terms for the Angels.”
His attorney, Paul Meyer, defended the mayor in a letter to City Attorney Robert Fabela.
“A fair and thorough investigation will prove that Mayor Harry Sidhu did not leak secret information in hopes of a later campaign contribution,” Meyer said.
“Mayor Sidhu has always, as his foremost priority, acted in the best interests of the City of Anaheim,” he later added.
But Politico reports that’s not the only problem facing Sidhu:
According to the FBI, there’s probable cause that Sidhu committed a variety of criminal offenses as that unfolded (he has not been charged). The affidavit describes Sidhu securing a spot on the stadium negotiating team and then communicating confidential information to the Angels via a Chamber of Commerce intermediary — part of that purported inner sphere of power in Anaheim — and then repeatedly talking about how he expected the Angels to furnish half a million dollars in campaign cash in exchange for a stadium deal. Sidhu allegedly sought to conceal those communications. Oh, and the helicopter: the affidavit alleges Sidhu registered a helicopter in Arizona to avoid a roughly $15,000 California sales tax hit.
The city council and various Democrat elected officials called for his resignation last week.