Several Anaheim City Council majority faction members once led by Mayor Harry Sidhu have now turned against him, calling for his resignation following an FBI criminal probe into corruption allegations.
Anaheim Council members Trevor O’Neil, Stephen Faessel and Jose Diaz officially requested Sidhu’s resignation today.
“We are making this formal request of Mayor Sidhu through you and ask that you urgently share this important matter with your client,” reads a Wednesday afternoon letter to Sidhu’s criminal defense attorney, Paul Meyer.
“The deeply troubling issues that have come to our attention involving Mayor Sidhu since May 16, 2022, raise serious concerns and questions about his ability to continue as mayor of Anaheim,” the letter reads.
Read the full letter here.
Yet most of the former Sidhu council majority have not publicly questioned the Angel Stadium sale, which FBI agents found Sidhu tried ramming through in an effort to fatten his campaign warchest.
Absent from the letter was Anaheim City Councilmember Jose Moreno, who has been the most vocal critic of Sidhu and the council majority from the dais. Though he affirmed Valencia’s call for Sidhu to resign on Tuesday night.
The request comes one day after Councilman Avelino Valencia and others publicly called on Sidhu to resign at a regularly-scheduled city council meeting, where Sidhu was absent.
“But I suspect he’s watching this meeting from home,” said Valencia that Tuesday evening.
He then addressed Sidhu, wherever he was.
“If you’re watching, you have one last opportunity to do the right thing for our city.”
Valencia also scheduled an “in-depth” discussion about the state of the Angel Stadium deal for the council meeting next week.
Several residents, critical of the majority, cast doubt on Valencia later in the meeting, questioning from the podium whether his push for the discussion was motivated by transparency or the fact he was running this year to replace the outgoing state assemblyman who he’s a staff director for, Tom Daly.
Valencia’s “taken all the money from the same people” in his election campaign, said Mike Robbins, a member of the People’s Homeless Task Force of Orange County, during public comment.
They similarly questioned statements of “shock” to the news by Faessel and Diaz, as well as another majority faction council member whose name did not appear on the council’s resignation request letter: Gloria Ma’ae.
Residents also called for Sidhu’s resignation last night and some called on other members of the council to resign too.
The city is awaiting Sidhu’s response.
The mayor’s chair is up for election in November and it’s unclear what happens to the vacancy if he does resign.
Correction: Due to a typo, a previous version of this story stated that most members of the council majority have publicly questioned the Angel Stadium sale, when in fact, most members of the council majority have not publicly questioned it. We regret the error.
Hosam Elattar is a Voice of OC reporter and corps member with Report for America, a GroundTruth initiative. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ElattarHosam.
Brandon Pho is a Voice of OC reporter and corps member with Report for America, a GroundTruth initiative. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @photherecord.