Will Steve Pougnet ever get his day in court before jury of peers?

Pougnet Trial Delayed Until November, DA Says

Steve Pougnet

PALM SPRINGS — The trial of former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet and two real estate developers that was supposed to start this month has been continued to Nov. 3, according to Amy McKenzie, director of communications for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

She did not explain the reason for the continuance. Pougnet’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

The trio of men were accused of a bribery scheme dating back to 2014.

In December, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Otis Sterling III granted attorneys more time because “it’s a complex case.”

Sterling ordered the parties to return on April 19, 2023, to prepare for the trial’s start.

Pougnet is accused of accepting approximately $375,000 worth of bribes from Meaney on behalf of Wessman for approving their projects in Palm Springs. Pougnet was mayor at the time, and investigators later learned he had expressed a need to make more money.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin initially charged Wessman, Pougnet and Meaney in 2017. A grand jury in 2019 indicted the trio on more than 30 counts of bribery, perjury and conspiracy to commit crime.

The case has labored through the court system over the years with numerous delays and continuances.

The November trial will be held in Indio at the Larson Justice Center.


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