Jump to content
  • Welcome to AngelsWin.com

    AngelsWin.com - THE Internet Home for Angels fans! Unraveling Angels Baseball ... One Thread at a Time.

    Register today to join the most interactive online Angels community on the net!

    Once you're a member you'll see less advertisements. Become a Premium member and you won't see any ads! 



OC Register: Melahat Rafiei resigns from DNC, fair board roles amid fallout from Anaheim corruption probe

Recommended Posts

Melahat Rafiei on Sunday night resigned from her elected leadership roles as a state representative for the Democratic National Committee and as secretary for the California Democratic Party, as fallout from the corruption investigation in Anaheim continues.

She told the Register that she also resigned Saturday from her appointed roles on the OC Fair Board and on Anaheim’s city culture and heritage commission, saying the investigation had “become a distraction” from the important work all of these groups need to do.

Rafiei, who is the former executive director of the Democratic Party of Orange County, was the first Iranian-American elected to her roles with the state and national Democratic parties.

But calls for her to resign have been coming from some local leaders, including Orange County Democratic party chair Ada Briceno and state Sens. Josh Newsman and Tom Umberg, since news broke last week that she has been a cooperating witness in an FBI probe that has focused on Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu, among others, and led to federal charges against former Anaheim Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Ament.

The investigation stalled a $320 million deal to sell Angel Stadium. It also has led to calls for Sidhu to resign. Sidhu, who has not been charged with a crime, has not publicly responded to the claims.

In court documents filed last week, it came to light that Rafiei had been arrested in 2019 then on charges of “theft or bribery” involving federal funds related to a cannabis scheme.

The FBI states Rafiei had promised two heads of a local cannabis company that she could help get a favorable cannabis ordinance passed in Irvine if they gave her money to bribe two council members. She denies those allegations, saying in her statement to the DNC and state party that she “never attempted to improperly influence any elected official.” Those charges have been dismissed without prejudice, which means they could be filed again later.

Since her arrest, Rafiei has been cooperating with the FBI to bring them information about possible corruption in Anaheim. She says she accepted a request to cooperate, wearing a wire and delivering evidence that the FBI used last week to charge Ament and to raise concerns about Sidhu’s actions.

“I was not compelled to cooperate,” she said in her statement. “Any assertions to the contrary are false. I chose to assist federal investigators and prosecutors out of a sense of duty and patriotism. If those individuals now named by federal prosecutors are, in fact, guilty of corruption and are brought to justice, I will be proud of the role I was willing to play despite what that role has now cost me.”

But party leaders and members of the public have been expressing frustration that Rafiei took on leadership roles and has been helping to run campaigns for key local candidates who apparently didn’t know about she had been arrested and had been involved in the investigation for three years.

That’s why the California Democratic Progressive Caucus on Saturday joined calls for Rafiei to resign from her leadership roles with the party.

“While it is possible that the FBI case is overstated and that the audiotape doesn’t say what it seems to say, the important issue for the Party is that Melahat ran for CDP Officer and hid from delegates that she was arrested for corruption,” a statement from the Caucus says.

“She put her own interests ahead of the Party and that is never acceptable.”

View the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...