FBI agents raid Palm Springs City Hall
September 2, 2015
FBI agents and members of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office raided Palm Springs City Hall and the mayor’s home Tuesday as part of a political corruption investigation. No one was arrested, though city staffers were sent home.
The investigating agencies are not disclosing the nature of the investigation, though it is suspected to be related to Mayor Stephen Pougnet’s financial ties to a developer.
The Desert Sun recently reported that Pougnet was a paid consultant making more than $200,000 from a local developer. Pougnet had participated in a vote approving the sale of a city property to a company the developer had connections with.
After reporters exposed Pougnet’s actions, he chastised the newspaper and defended his job as a consultant for developers while serving as a public official.
“Like all my colleagues on council, I also work for a living,” Pougnet said in an open letter to the public. “In Palm Springs, as in most cities, the mayor and councilmembers serve part-time at the pleasure of voters. One reason I believe we’ve enjoyed such a renaissance in Palm Springs is because your council, like many of you, work full-time in our community in addition to their service at City Hall.”