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Former Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges Stemming From Attempted Sale of Angel Stadium

Former Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges Stemming From Attempted Sale of Angel Stadium

  • The Indian American admits to obstructing the FBI probe into the failed stadium sale , lying to its agents and expecting $1 million for leaking confidential information.

Former Anaheim Mayor Harish “Harry” Singh Sidhu has agreed to plead guilty to federal felony charges for obstructing an FBI public corruption investigation into the failed $320 million sale of Angel Stadium by destroying evidence and for making false statements to FBI agents, the Justice Department announced yesterday (Aug. 16). Sidhu, 66, a longtime member of the Anaheim City Council, was elected mayor in 2018. He resigned on May 23, in the middle of the investigation. He was up for reelection this November. 

He also admitted to cheating California tax authorities and making false statements to the Federal Aviation Administration in relation to his purchase of a helicopter. He was charged with one count of obstruction of justice, one count of wire fraud, and two counts of making false statements to the FBI and the FAA, the DOJ said. 

In a statement to the Orange County Register, Sidhu’s attorney Paul S. Meyer said his client “appreciates the thorough and fair investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office leading to a resolution in this matter.”

Citing court papers, the DOJ said Sidhu admitted that while the City of Anaheim was negotiating the sale of Angel Stadium to the Los Angeles Angels Major League Baseball club, he sought out and became a member of the city’s negotiating team for the stadium sale. “While on the negotiating team, he provided confidential information belonging to the city to people working for the Angels, so that the Angels could buy Angel Stadium on favorable terms for the baseball club,” the DOJ said. He later was recorded saying he expected a $1 million campaign contribution from the Angels after the baseball club purchased Angel Stadium, the DOJ said.

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He also admitted that he knowingly destroyed evidence by deleting multiple email messages and documents with the intent to impede and obstruct the FBI’s investigation of public corruption related to the city’s attempted sale of Angel Stadium.He also confused of providing a confidential appraisal range to the Angels in 2019, months before the appraisal was made public.

He is expected to make his initial appearance in United States District Court in Santa Ana later this month. “Once he enters his guilty pleas, he will face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for the obstruction of justice count, up to 20 years in federal prison for the wire fraud count, and up to five years in federal prison for each false statements count,” the DOJ said. 

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