SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – The mayor of Anaheim, California, resigned on Monday amid a federal probe into possible corruption involving the $325 million sale of baseball’s Angel Stadium, his lawyer said.
Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu had been under pressure to resign since a federal affidavit made public last week showed that he was under investigation by the FBI in relation to the city’s sale of the stadium to Angels owner Arte Moreno and his development company.
In an email to Reuters, Sidhu’s attorney, Paul Meyer, confirmed that Sidhu had resigned but denied any wrongdoing. The mayor’s sole goal, Meyer said, was to keep the Los Angeles Angels baseball team in Anaheim.
“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,” Meyer wrote. “His unwavering goal from the start has been to keep the Angels in Anaheim, so that this vibrant social and economic relationship would continue.”
California Attorney General Rob Bonta last week asked a judge to delay finalizing the sale amid news of the investigation. The deal, initially struck in 2019, was delayed for three years after a state agency said the land should have been made available for affordable housing, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Anaheim, a city of about 350,000 that sits about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles, has long been home to the Angels, along with Disneyland and other attractions.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Leslie Adler)