Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu has resigned just days after a court filing revealed that he is the target of a public corruption investigation.
In a tweet, the city said it received a letter indicating Sidhu will resign effective May 24. NBCLA has reached out to the city for more information.
Members of the city council requested Sidhu’s resignation last week. Mayor Pro Tem Trevor O’Neil will assume the duties of mayor. The seat is up for election in November.
Sidhu’s attorney Paul Meyer said that the mayor denied wrongdoing in the stadium deal. He said he was stepping down to help Anaheim move forward.
“(Sidhu) has always, as his foremost priority, acted in the best interests of the city of Anaheim, and he does so today,” Meyer said. “In order to continue to act in the best interests of Anaheim and allow this great city to move forward without distraction, Harry Sidhu has resigned from his post as mayor effective May 24, 2022.
“Meeting the needs of the community has been and will always be Harry Sidhu’s top priority.”
Meyer said a fair investigation will prove that Sidhu did not “leak secret information in the hopes of a later political campaign contribution.”
Earlier this month, the city’s planned sale of Angel Stadium to team owner Arte Moreno’s company was halted for at least two months by an Orange County Superior Court judge. The judge agreed to a request by the state to pause the deal amid a federal corruption probe of Sidhu.
The judge granted the request, made by California Attorney General Rob Bonta. His office had brokered a settlement with the city over the use of funds from the sale to provide affordable housing throughout the city.
The Attorney General’s Office filed the petition requesting a halt to the sale, pointing to the federal investigation that involves, in part, allegations that Sidhu was trying to leverage the deal to secure campaign contributions from the Angels.
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“We are seriously concerned about new information we have received about this deal and are asking the court to pause its consideration of the stipulated judgment in light of this information,” a representative for the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement last week.
City officials did not oppose the request to delay the settlement deal. The next hearing is set for July 14.
In an unusual move, the attorney general’s court papers included an FBI search warrant affidavit detailing elements of the federal probe, including two confidential informants, one of whom was wired to secretly record conversations with the mayor.
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