Former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, 2 developers enter not guilty pleas in corruption case

Former Palms Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, above, and two developers have been accused of corruption and bribery in an Indio case. Photo: City of Palm Springs

INDIO – Former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet and two Coachella Valley developers have entered not guilty pleas in a corruption case accusing the former mayor of accepting more than $350,000 in bribes from the developers.

The three men will return to the Larson Justice Center November 8, the Desert Sun reports.

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

John Wessman, 78, and Richard Meaney, 51, are accused of paying Pougnet, 54, about $375,000 between 2012 and 2014 in exchange for the former mayor voting favorably when their development projects came before the city council, Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin said in February at a news conference when he announced the three men were accused of corruption and bribery.

RELATED: Corruption case of former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet moved to Indio

If convicted on all counts, Pougnet could face up to 19 years in state prison and be barred for life from holding public office. Meaney and Wessman could each face a maximum of 12 years behind bars.

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Stephanie Thai

Hailing from San Francisco, Stephanie Thai is a Southern Californian transplant. She spends her time writing, reading, and eating wherever she can, though not in that order. On her downtime, Thai takes 12-hour cat naps, hikes urban trails, and frequents travel websites to entertain her expensive hobby of traveling the globe.

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