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Court appeal is back on in suit over Anaheim’s handling of Angel Stadium deal

The deal to sell Angel Stadium is still dead, but a lawsuit appeal challenging how city leaders crafted and approved the deal is back in play.

A residents’ group, the People’s Homeless Task Force Orange County, initially sued in 2020, alleging city officials broke the state’s open meetings law, known as the Brown Act, by discussing and deciding on some aspects of the sale behind closed doors when it should have been done publicly. The lawsuit also argued the city improperly limited public input on the sale.

The city has repeatedly denied the allegations and said it followed the law.

The task force lost the case in March in Orange County Superior Court, but it filed an appeal a couple of months later – right after it came to light that the former Anaheim mayor who spearheaded the sale was under federal investigation. Sidhu has not been charged with a crime.

Attorney Kelly Aviles, who is representing the residents’ group, said Wednesday that appeal had been dismissed in July because of a clerical issue (there was a mix up in getting some transcripts to the court), but it’s been corrected and the appeal is active again.

She’s exploring, she said, whether she can introduce new information relating to the federal investigation that wasn’t presented to the lower court. Aviles may file her opening brief this fall, and it could be up to a year before there’s a hearing on the appeal, she said.

Even though the stadium sale was voided by the City Council, she said, the case still matters because Anaheim may seek to sell the Angel Stadium property in the future.

“It really is about the court telling them how they’re supposed to do this,” Aviles said, “and whether they’re allowed to do this with the secrecy that they did.”

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