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Former Anaheim Mayor, Chamber of Commerce, Others Face FBI Corruption Probe

Former Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu and others in his political inner circle are facing an FBI corruption probe, alleging they were involved in a scheme to commit fraud by sharing confidential information with representatives of the Angels related to Anaheim’s sale of Angel Stadium with the expectation of receiving contributions to his reelection campaign, withholding of information from an Orange County Grand Jury related to the sale of the stadium, and other allegations.

Anaheim City Hall. Photo by Jesse La Tour.

The scandal came to light on May 16, when California Attorney General Rob Bonta temporarily halted the sale of Angel Stadium and attached an FBI warrant and affidavit (by agent Brian Adkins) that “sets forth serious allegations of unlawful conduct related to the city of Anaheim’s negotiated sale of the Angel stadium site.”

But the scope of the probe extends beyond Sidhu and includes members of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, and others.

The affidavit states that Anaheim “was tightly controlled by a small cadre of individuals.”

The affidavit includes two cooperating witnesses, named CW1 and CW2. It has since been revealed that CW1 is Melahat Rafiei, a political consultant to Democratic campaigns, and CW2 is Todd Ament, former head of Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, who is facing separate federal charges.

In addition to the Angel stadium corruption allegations, the affidavit alleges that Sidhu defrauded the people of the state of California, the people of the state of Arizona, and the Federal Aviation Administration by registering his helicopter under an Arizona residential address in an effort to avoid paying California taxes.

Sidhu has since resigned as Mayor of Anaheim

For more complete coverage, see the Voice of OC.