Mayor Harry Sidhu with his son tossing out Easter eggs from his helicopter at Ronald Reagan Park in Anaheim Hills in April 2022.
By DUANE ROBERTS
Editor & Publisher
Public records that The Anaheim Investigator has carefully reviewed–including a recent petition filed in federal bankruptcy court–show Mayor Harry Sidhu registered his helicopter at the Arizona home of Joseph Manzella, a prominent businessman who previously owned The Catch, a restaurant which at one time was a favorite watering hole and dining spot for members of Anaheim’s resort elite.
The Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aviation Registry shows Sidhu listed “8024 E. Lone Mountain Rd” in Scottsdale, Arizona as the address for the certificate they issued for his helicopter in 2020. But according to the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office, that property is owned by the Don and Ana Cardamon Family Revocable Trust, of whom The Investigator believes are the parents of Manzella’s wife, Michelle Cardamon Manzella.
In August 2019, Joseph Manzella filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register the mark “Olive Pit Grill,” an effort that was later abandoned because of strong opposition from a similarly-branded restaurant located in Boca Rotan, Florida. However, in the original paperwork Manzella submitted to the federal government in this case, he reported that “8024 E. Lone Mountain Rd” was his address.
From the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Earlier this year, on March 26, 2022, Manzella filed a petition seeking relief under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Arizona District in Phoenix where he declared under penalty of perjury that his address was, once again, “8024 E. Lone Mountain Rd,” even checkmarking a box which stated: “Over the last 180 days before filing this petition, I lived in this district longer than any other district.”
Though The Catch permanently closed its doors in October 2021, ostensibly due to financial problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Manzella is linked to a holding company called Tableside Partners Inc., which still owns and operates several restaurants and brew pubs here in Orange County, including the TAPS Fish House and Brewery in Brea and TAPS Brewery and Barrel Room in Tustin.
Sidhu used The Catch for a major fundraiser in 2017.
Ever since the State Attorney General’s Office filed documents containing an affidavit from the Federal Bureau of Investigation alleging that the mayor committed tax fraud by registering his helicopter at an Arizona address, much media attention has been focused on that angle. But so far, aside from one clever person on Twitter, nobody has really bothered to investigate the reason why that address was chosen.
There is no evidence that Manzella, his wife, nor any of his relatives are complicit in any wrongdoing with respect to this matter, both criminal or otherwise. If anything, this is a story about how relationships between politicians and their friends, which were once kept hidden from public view, have suddenly become laid bare for all to see by the corruption scandal that has engulfed Anaheim.
[UPDATE: Harry Sidhu has stepped down as Anaheim mayor. His resignation will be effective on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.]