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Bribery, corruption case of ex-Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet transferred to Indio

Former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, left, and developers Richard Meaney, middle, and John Wessman, right, are accused of corruption and bribery that took place between 2012 and 2014.

PALM SPRINGS — The corruption case of former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet and two developers has been transferred to Indio, and their next court appearance is scheduled for June 30.

RELATED: Ex-Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet accused of accepting $375,000 in bribes

Pougnet, who is gay, is accused of accepting approximately $375,000 in bribes between 2012 and 2014 in return for influencing city leaders to approve projects by Palm Springs developers John Wessman and Richard Meaney, who also are accused of paying Pougnet the bribes.

Riverside County prosecutors allege the money was moved to the mayor through shell companies and fake consulting jobs.

Pougnet, Wessman and Meaney were expected to enter initial pleas during a May 19 hearing, but it was delayed when defense attorneys requested the case be transferred to Indio, which Judge Samuel Diaz, Jr. approved.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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