Under investigation for allegedly leaking secret information in exchange for future political campaign contributions, Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu has resigned from office.
According to the affidavit, Mayor Sidhu’s actions “may have violated the Brown Act in that he knowingly provided non-public information discussed during a Closed Session City Council meeting to CW2. In addition, SIDHU passed information on a real estate transaction, which was arguably one of the largest real estate transactions in the City of Anaheim’s history.”
Accused of providing inside information to a confidential witness on the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce and a political consultant working for the Angels in an effort to get at least $1 million in campaign spending from Angels executives, Sidhu also allegedly used an Arizona address that was not his to avoid paying $15,887.50 in California sales tax on a helicopter that he purchased. The FBI additionally accused Sidhu of avoiding paying $1,025 in sales taxes in Arizona.
Last week, all of the members of the Anaheim City Council called for Sidhu’s resignation after the investigation became public. On Monday, Councilman Jose Moreno said, “I hope that the people of Anaheim and our media continue to pursue the question of whether Harry Sidhu was acting alone. He was acting in a system of arrogance, hubris and corruption. And under the corruptive influence of money and campaign donors.”
On Monday, Sidhu issued a resignation letter announcing that he is resigning from office effective Tuesday, May 24, 2022. Mayor Pro Tem Trevor O’Neil will assume the duties of mayor.
Sidhu’s attorney, Paul Meyer, issued the following statement on Monday: “A fair and thorough investigation will prove that Mayor Harry Sidhu did not leak secret information in hopes of a later political campaign contribution. His unwavering goal from the start has been to keep the Angels in Anaheim, so that this vibrant social and economic relationship with the City would continue. Mayor Sidhu was appointed as a member of the City’s negotiating group to help reach a mutually beneficial agreement between Anaheim and the Angels. A Superior Court judge ruled that the negotiating group did not violate the Brown Act. The negotiations followed accepted lawful practices and used in all major business negotiations. No closed session material, not secret information, was disclosed by Mayor Sidhu.”
On May 17, the Justice Department announced that former Anaheim Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Ament has been charged with making false statements to a financial institution, which carries a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison. According to reports, Ament was a close ally of Sidhu.