LOS ANGELES — The mayor of Anaheim, California, is resigning amid a federal investigation related to his actions surrounding a plan to sell the Los Angeles Angels stadium site, the city said Monday.
Mayor Harry Sidhu resigned effective Tuesday, he said in a letter to the city. The move comes days after Anaheim said it learned about the inquiry.
Sidhu’s attorney denied any wrongdoing and said he will be vindicated.
“A fair and thorough investigation will prove that Mayor Harry Sidhu did not leak secret information in hopes of a later political campaign contribution,” Sidhu’s attorney, Paul Meyer, said in a letter published by the city.
An FBI affidavit included in a court filing by the state attorney general’s office says Sidhu may have provided nonpublic information to representatives for the Angels during negotiations of the sale.
Sidhu has not been charged with any crime. The FBI affidavit is in support of search warrants.
The affidavit doesn’t allege wrongdoing or knowledge on the Angels’ part. The FBI agent wrote that he was unaware whether an Angels representative was ever asked for a campaign contribution or was aware of any intention to do so.
Anaheim said it learned of the affidavit May 16. An agreement between the city and the state about the sale, which deals with affordable housing, is on hold.
The state attorney general’s office said in state court documents that the federal warrant and affidavit include serious allegations that call into question the validity of the land sale and the agreement.
Anaheim has been negotiating the sale of the stadium property since 2019, when the Angels said they wanted to buy the land around the stadium rather than lease it.
The FBI affidavit says Sidhu appears on two occasions to have provided information to the Angels so they could use it in negotiations.
Sidhu later discussed plans to ask for $500,000 in campaign contributions from a representative of the Angels organization who is not named in the affidavit and later said he planned to increase that to $1 million, according to the affidavit.
Sidhu is alleged to have made the comments to a person who is who is cooperating with investigators, according to the document.
The city government characterized the matter as dealing with independent actions Sidhu may have taken about the sale proposal.
Meyer, Sidhu’s attorney, wrote in the letter accompanying the resignation that the stadium deal negotiations followed accepted lawful practices.
“The government affidavit confirms that Harry never asked for a political campaign contribution that was linked in any way to the negotiation process,” Meyer wrote.