The city got a strong rebuke by a watchdog agency on the Angels stadium deal.
It has been quiet in Anaheim since the deal between Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim owner Arte Moreno and the city of Anaheim for a new Angels ballpark fell apart. There may be a major reason for that, however. There was a scathing a 23-page report from The Orange County Grand Jury, a local watchdog over government agencies, titled “The Big A Lack of Transparency,” that found that the city “demonstrated persistent lack of transparency and rushed decision-making in its handling of the stadium property transactions.” The grand jury wrote they began investigating the sale due to “heavy public scrutiny”. The city of Anaheim is reviewing the grand jury document but there seems to be a distrust between the city and the Angels because of the negotiations.
Moreno pulled out of his Anaheim stadium deal in 2018 looking for a new stadium. In 2019, Moreno reached a deal to purchase the stadium and the 150-acre plot where the stadium sits for $320 million, with $124 million credited to Moreno. Moreno would build affordable housing near the stadium and possibly put up a new stadium. But a California state housing agency said Anaheim had violated California affordable housing law by not offering the property to housing developers first. Eventually there was a settlement. Moreno could develop the land after the Anaheim city council signed off on the deal. An Orange County Superior Court judge placed a hold on a proposed settlement. An attorney for Moreno wrote a letter to Anaheim saying that Moreno’s company “SRB has met all its obligations and has every expectation that this transaction should move forward, and looks forward to the Council’s final action no later than June 14th, 2022.” Anaheim pulled out of the deal. The stadium saga continues.
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