County DA to update corruption investigation at Palm Springs City Hall

PALM SPRINGS – The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office is expected to announce a decision today regarding criminal charges stemming from the ongoing investigation into possible corruption involving former Palm Springs city leaders, which led federal investigators to seize thousands of documents from City Hall in 2015.

District Attorney Mike Hestrin will lead a 10 a.m. news conference at his Riverside office regarding what has been a tight-lipped investigation into potential corruption involving former Mayor Steve Pougnet and his relationships
with local developers.

Pougnet’s ties to developer Richard Meaney were brought under federal scrutiny after it surfaced that Pougnet earned more than $200,000 working as a consultant for Meaney’s company Union Abbey, during which time Pougnet was criticized for voting to sell city-owned land to Meaney at far below market value.

As questions swirled, Pougnet announced in May 2015 that he would not seek re-election when his term was set to end later that year.

On Sept. 1, 2015, investigators from the FBI and District Attorney’s Office seized thousands of documents, computers, employee cellphones, canceled checks, emails and letters from City Hall and Pougnet’s home. Since then, the FBI has released some of the seized documents back to the city, but has revealed little else regarding the scope of its investigation.

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