Harry Sidhu has resigned from his role as Mayor of Anaheim amid a public corruption investigation into the sale of Angel Stadium, home of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels.
His resignation comes after it emerged last week that the $320m (£260m/€303m) sale of Angel Stadium has been put on hold while an investigation is carried out.
An Orange County Superior Court judge halted the progress of the transaction for 60 days over allegations that Sidhu had sought to profit from the sale, which was agreed back in 2019.
According to court documents cited by the Los Angeles Times newspaper, Sidhu is accused of soliciting a donation of approximately $1m to his re-election campaign as the City of Anaheim discussed the sale of the stadium and surrounding land to SRB Management, the company of Angels owner Arte Moreno. It has since transpired that the original $320m comprised only $150m in cash, while plans for affordable housing were cut considerably.
The postponement of the sale was last week granted by Judge Glenn R. Salter after an application from the state attorney general who also filed an affidavit for a federal search warrant.
Sidhu has now resigned as Mayor of Anaheim, with his attorney Paul Meyer stating that the decision has been taken to “act in the best interest of Anaheim” and allow the city to “move forward without distraction”.
Meyer added that “a fair and thorough investigation will prove that Mayor Harry Sidhu did not leak secret information in the hopes of a later political campaign contribution”.
Last week, all members of the Anaheim City Council called for Sidhu’s resignation following the allegations against him.
The Anaheim City Council had been expected to vote on the sale of Angel Stadium in June after significant changes were announced last month. It had been claimed that the agreement would resolve all issues with the stadium site sale and the state’s Surplus Land Act
The Angels have played in Anaheim since 1966. The City of Anaheim built what is today Angel Stadium of Anaheim in 1966, and has owned it since.
The sale would end 50-plus years of city stadium ownership and put any future maintenance, renovation or stadium construction costs solely in the hands of SRB Management. The plan, which would keep the Angels in Anaheim until at least 2050, also calls for a renovated Angel Stadium, or a new 45,000-seat stadium.