An investigative firm hired by the city completed a report more than 13 months after the Anaheim City Council voted to block a $320 million Angel Stadium sale amid a swirling corruption scandal involving the city’s former mayor , outlining potential misconduct and bribery-play schemes.
JL Group, which handled the report, is expected to file its findings with the Anaheim City Attorney’s Office on Monday, According to the Orange County Register, although the full findings will not be released to the public. An edited version is expected to be published later this summer.
“It’s all being done with the utmost secrecy,” a resident activist told the paper. “The public paid for the report. The public drove the report from the beginning.”
Committee members said they could not release the full findings of the investigation because of the potential violation of employees’ privacy rights. Officials said they plan to use the findings as the basis for considering a new city ethics policy.
Investigators’ findings could shed new light on one of the OC’s most high-profile real estate corruption scandals in years. The city of Anaheim had been in talks with MLB Angels owner Art Moreno to sell a city-owned stadium for $320 million before allegations surfaced against former Mayor Harry Sidoo and surrounding parking lots. Moreno and his company, SRB Management, plan to develop 150 acres in OC’s desirable Platinum Triangle area into a new district with offices, shops, hotels, restaurants and more than 5,000 homes.
But the city council quickly shot down the deal after the FBI accused Sidhu in a court filing of leaking confidential information about the Angels related to the pending deal in exchange for an estimated $1 million in campaign contributions .The FBI is also probing deeper corruption in the city, an agent wrote in court filings that the city is “Strictly controlled by small cadres” business and political leaders.
After news of the investigation broke, Sidhu resigned. He has not been criminally charged, and his lawyers have maintained his innocence, The Register reported.
Earlier this year, Moreno signed a lease at Anaheim until 2029. said he plans to meet with the city’s new mayor But declined to comment on the possibility of a new stadium purchase and development deal.