Report: Former Palm Springs mayor is paying legal fees with campaign donations

Former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet

Former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, who is facing felony bribery charges from a couple developers, has been using funds raised from his political campaigns to pay for his defense attorney, reports the Desert Sun.

Over the past two years, Pougnet, a former Palm Springs mayor who is facing felony bribery charges, has spent about $46,000 of his campaignfunding on his criminal defense attorney, Malcolm Segal, according to a recent review of campaign finance records by The Desert Sun. From the moment the corruption probe into Pougnet was made public, more than two-thirds of his campaign funds have gone to his legal defense.

Two California campaign financial experts disagreed about whether the practice is legal, but agreed it is frowned upon by small-scale donors, who don’t give to politicians expecting their money to be spent in this way.

You can read more about this story over at the Desert Sun.

Also, a reminder: Back when Pougnet was running for Congress in 2010, he blasted his opponent, who then went by Mary Bono Mack, for “protecting Wall Street profits” while he took a pay cut to be Mayor:

Gee, what a great guy.