Case against former Palm Springs mayor, developers delayed

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.- - News Channel 3 has learned that the preliminary hearing that was scheduled for next week has once again been delayed.  According to a spokesperson for the Riverside County District Attorney's Office and the attorney for John Wessman, Rod Soda have confirmed that the date is now set for September 10th, 11th, and 12th.  

According to Soda, all 3 defense teams requested a delay due to the volume of material they have to still go through to be ready for a possible lenghty preliminary hearing.  Soda said the prosecution objected but the judge granted the delay.  

Wessman, Meaney, and Pougnet are all facing bribery and perjury charges in connection with the downtown redevelopment project. The developers are accused of paying Pougnet at least $375,000 to buy votes and influence those projects.

Payments to Pougnet were allegedly drawn directly from accounts maintained by Meaney's Union Abbey Co. and Wessman Development inc., according to court documents. They all pleaded not guilty in October 2017. 

If convicted on all charges, Pougnet could face up to 19 years in state prison and be barred for life from holding public office. Meaney and Wessman could each face a prison sentence of 12 years.

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