Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan addressed the ongoing federal corruption investigation within Anaheim City Hall, which has resulted in the resignation of two high-ranking Orange County politicians, including Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu. In a tweet on Friday, May 20, Khan released a statement in support of Orange County Democrat Melahat Rafiei. On Sunday, May 22, Rafiei resigned from her position.

Rafiei, who served as secretary for the California Democratic Party and state representative to the Democratic National Committee, as well as an advisor to Khan, was called on to resign by other politicians after a 2019 arrest for attempting to bribe members of the Irvine City Council was publicized.

In the tweet, Khan wrote, “Assumptions and misinformation are at an all time high right now,” and that she wants to see Rafiei’s name cleared.

Part of Rafiei’s arrest was subject to an FBI investigation in which federal agents allege Rafiei, who worked as a consultant for a cannabis company, told the company that she could influence cannabis legislation in Irvine by bribing members of the Irvine City Council in 2018.

Rafiei denies the bribery allegations, adding that she has worked to “root out corruption” within the Democratic Party.

In an affidavit released, FBI special agent Brian Adkins wrote that the investigation into Rafiei uncovered a plan devised by Rafiei included the “intention of paying bribes to two elected members of the Irvine City Council in exchange for the Council Members performing official acts, resulting in the passage of favorable cannabis laws,” the affidavit wrote.

Agents also allege that Rafiei cooperated with the FBI in order to expose corruption in Anaheim, resulting in the resignation of the Anaheim mayor on Tuesday, May 24.

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