The former mayor of Anaheim pleads guilty in a federal corruption case over the sale of Angel Stadium


SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The former mayor of the Southern California city of Anaheim on Wednesday agreed to plead guilty to obstructing an investigation into FBI corruption in the $150 million sale of Angel Stadium to the owner of the Major League Baseball team, federal prosecutors said. announce.

Harish “Harry” Singh Sidhu admitted in a plea agreement that he provided confidential information about the city to people working for the Angels while serving on the city’s negotiating team for the deal, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s office. The information is intended to help the team purchase the stadium on favorable terms.

“Siddu was later on record saying he expected a $1 million campaign contribution from the Angels after the baseball club purchased Angel Stadium,” the statement said.

The charges to which Sidhu will plead guilty — including obstruction of justice, wire fraud and lying to authorities — carry a maximum penalty of up to 40 years in federal prison.

His attorney, Paul S. Meyer, said in a statement that Seydoux “appreciates the thorough and fair investigation conducted by the Office of the United States Attorney that led to a decision in this matter.”

“It is important to note that the plea agreement and the city investigation turned up no evidence of wrongdoing by the Angels,” Mary Garvey, a spokeswoman for the Angels, said in a statement Wednesday.

Seydoux, 66, resigned as mayor last year after news broke that he was under a federal investigation. On the day he resigned, the City Council voted to rescind a 2020 agreement to sell the city-owned stadium and 151-acre (61 ha) to Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno and his Business Partnership for Development.

Under the deal, Moreno would have paid $325 million but only about $150 million in cash while his company would take a $170 credit to include about 500 affordable housing units and a park in the redeveloped land surrounding the stadium.

In return, the team will stick to it Remaining in Anaheim until 2050.

After the deal collapsed, Moreno and the Angels began exploring a potential sale of the team—which angered fans in the Orange County city of 345,000—but announced in January that a sale was off the table.

“We realize that our hearts remain with the Angels, and we are not ready to part ways with the fans, the players and our staff,” Moreno said in a statement at the time.

Seydoux has denied any wrongdoing, saying his negotiations are legal and in the best interest of the city. But in the plea agreement, prosecutors said he admitted deleting emails and documents related to the sale and lying to FBI agents about the negotiations.

The US Attorney’s office statement said Seydow also admitted to “defrauding California tax authorities and making a false statement to the Federal Aviation Administration in connection with his helicopter purchase.”

Siddhu will plead guilty to one count of obstruction of justice, one count of wire fraud, and two counts of making false statements to the FBI and FAA. The date of the verdict has not been announced.

“Mr. Seydoux was elected by the people of Anaheim and pledged to work for them, but he has broken that pledge and their trust on numerous occasions to look out for special interests,” said Donald Alloway, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

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