fbpx

Ex-Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet’s corruption, bribery court case delayed to fall

Former Palms Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, above, and two developers will have to wait until the fall to enter the initial pleas in their corruption and bribery case. Photo: City of Palm Springs

PALM SPRINGS — Former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet and two developers will have to wait until the fall to enter the initial pleas in their corruption and bribery case.

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

Pougnet, who is gay; Richard Meaney, and John Wessman, the city’s most prominent developer who also is partnered with the city on a huge downtown revitalization project, are scheduled to appear in an Indio courtroom October 6. The case was transferred from Palm Springs to Indio in May at the request of defense attorneys.

The three suspects appeared in court June 30 and were scheduled to enter their pleas, but the hearing was rescheduled due to the judge’s absence, the Desert Sun reported.

If convicted on all counts, Pougnet would be barred for life from holding public office and face a potential maximum sentence of 19 years in state prison.

The accusations against Pougnet, Meaney and Wessman are the result of an 18-month investigation by an Inland Empire public corruption task force, which included a 2015 raid of Palm Springs City Hall by FBI agents and county investigators.

The city hall raid followed reports by the Desert Sun that revealed questionable financial ties between the mayor and the developers.

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.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!