PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - 8-29 Update: Palm Springs City Manager David Ready and City Attorney Doug Holland contacted us about our story from Friday. Here are their statements:
"I wanted to clarify some incorrect information in your on-line article regarding the records request - your article mentioned a "subpoena" - however, the city did not receive a subpoena - rather, and importantly, it was a request from the US Attorney who has been working with the City Attorney - as we are cooperating fully with any and all requests," Says David Ready.
"Also, speaking with the City Attorney, he indicated that he does not have any count as to the number of documents which will be delivered this week. Moreover, once the US Attorney indicates we are free to make the actual documents public - we will do so by putting them on the City website as we have done with the previous documents that were returned to the City," added Ready.
"There has only been one subpoena for records served on the city," says Palm Springs City Attorney Doug Holland.
"That subpoena is the subpoena the city received on September 1, 2015. That subpoena was very broad and inclusive. I received a follow-up request for records in July of this year. It was not in the form of a subpoena; however, the records requested were within the broad subject matter of documents described in the September 1, 2015 subpoena."
"There has not been a second subpoena served on the city. Thus, the FBI is referring to the September 1, 2016 subpoena in its recent press release that you quoted. The city will continue to fully cooperate with the USAO, the FBI, and the DA in its ongoing investigation," added Holland
We also reached out to the F.B.I to confirm if a subpoena had been issued, and we got this response: "I'm unable to confirm or deny the issuance of subpoenas as grand jury materials are subject to secrecy rules," Says Laura Eimiller, F.B.I. Press Relations. "I'm also not able to confirm whether documents were requested and provided, other than to reiterate that the investigation is ongoing."
Mayor Robert Moon said during an interview Friday that the FBI subpoenaed 28,000 pages of documents a few weeks ago from Palm Springs City Hall. Moon did not know the contents of those documents, but said that they were requested from the city attorney.
This is the latest development as investigators continue to remain tight-lipped about the raid on Palm Springs City Hall on Sept. 1, 2015.
"[They took] stacks of boxes. I have no idea what they're asking for. I have no idea what they took, but I understand from our city attorney that it was about 28,000 pages," said Moon.
Palm Springs City Council member Ginny Foat is eager to have the case closed.
"We're willing to give them whatever they want. We've been open since the beginning. What our goal is, is to get this finished," said Foat.
We contacted the Riverside County District Attorney's Office and the California Fair Political Practices Commission, and received this statement from the District Attorney's office;
"We continue to work closely with our federal partners on this active and ongoing investigation. We can make no further comment at this time."
We also contacted the Palm Spring's City Attorney, Doug Holland, who said, "The City is continuing to fully cooperate with the U.S Attorney's Office and the District Attorney's Office in their current investigation. Several city departments have produced various documents and records requested by these agencies over the last several months. Disclosure of the specific documents and records requested may impair or negatively affect the investigation and unless USAO and the DA consents, it would not be appropriate to release this information at this time."
On Sept. 1, 2015, warrants were served and the FBI raided Palm Springs City Hall. Former Mayor, Steve Pougnet, was in the spotlight for his controversial consulting job with developer, Richard Meaney. The relationship was allegedly a conflict of interest and has been an ongoing investigation ever since.