Mayor Harry Sidhu of Anaheim, CA, announced his resignation on Monday amid questions about whether business leaders in the state's 10th-largest city have wielded undue influence, the New York Times reports. Sidhu, a Republican elected in 2018, has not been charged with wrongdoing. Documentation supporting a federal search warrant accused him of acting against the city's interests while negotiating the planned $320 million sale of the city's Major League Baseball stadium to the owner of the Los Angeles Angels, its home team. FBI agent Brian Adkins alleged that Sidhu shared confidential information with the team at least twice in anticipation of a "sizeable" donation toward his reelection this year. It did not include evidence that Sidhu had solicited such a contribution but cited surreptitiously recorded conversations in which the mayor detailed plans to ask the Angels for "at least" $1 million. Sidhu's lawyer denied that. Last week, the City Council asked Sidhu to resign.
The investigation could impede the stadium deal. Mike Lyster, a spokesman for Anaheim, said the City Council would meet Tuesday to discuss the future of the deal, an issue that raises broader questions about the future of a city known for its tourist attractions — Disneyland chief among them — and professional sports teams. In December, California officials found that the sale violated a state law requiring local governments to prioritize surplus land for affordable housing. Last month, Anaheim and the state agreed to resolve the matter by having the city pay a $96 million fine. Attorney General Rob Bonta has since asked a judge to pause the resolution. Lyster said that if the deal falls through, it could affect whether the Angels stay in Anaheim.