Former Mayor Steve Pougnet has been charged with perjury, conflict of interest of a public officialm and receiving bribes from two developers, who were charged with offering bribes, reports the Desert Sun.
Pougnet, a two-term mayor and former Democratic candidate for Congress, is charged with nine counts of receiving bribes, eight counts of conflict of interest as a public official and three counts of perjury.
Also charged were businessmen John Wessman and Richard Meaney. Each is charged with nine counts of offering a bribe. All three men face an additional charge of conspiring to bribe a public official.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office alleged in a criminal complaint filed Thursday that Pougnet was paid $375,000 between September 2012 and September 2014 through a scheme wherein Wessman paid Meaney who then directed money to Pougnet. The complaint lists nine payments to Pougnet and 11 votes Pougnet cast benefiting Wessman and Meaney.
Pougnet faces up to 19 years in prison if convicted.
An investigation was launched 17 months ago, when authorities raided Palm Springs City Hall #PouGhazi.
The Desert Sun does a great job of breaking down the details here.