The Anaheim (Calif.) City Council has voted to cancel the sale of Angel Stadium to Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno. The decision comes amid the fallout of a political scandal that lead to former Anaheim mayor Harry Sidhu resigning.
The council’s unanimous vote Tuesday directed the city attorney to void a 2020 agreement to sell the city-owned Angel Stadium and the 151 acres surrounding it as part of a plan to develop the land around it.
“The vote follows the May 16 notice of a federal investigation into former mayor Harry Sidhu stemming from actions he may have taken related to the stadium site proposal,” the city said in a statement, according to USA Today.
While the deal to sell the stadium was originally approved on its merits, mayor pro tem Trevor O’Neil said the council had second thoughts. “However knowing that there may have been an element of corruption that brought the final product to us, we cannot move forward in good conscience,” he said.
Sidhu resigned over accusations that the sale of the stadium and surrounding land came under questionable circumstances linking the sale with a million-dollar campaign contribution.
According to Ball Park Digest:
“The FBI had been monitoring communications to and from the mayor’s offer under allegations that a tight network of Anaheim businesspeople and politicians were in control of city development and steering approvals for personal gain. In this case, the FBI and the state attorney general is alleging Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu spoke of soliciting campaign contributions from the team in exchange for the city’s support of the project.”
Sidhu, whose resignation took effect Tuesday, has not been charged with a crime. His lawyer, Paul S. Meyer, said in a statement Monday that the stadium negotiations were lawful.
“Mayor Harry Sidhu has always, as his foremost priority, acted in the best interests of the City of Anaheim, and he does so today,” Meyer said