News Update!!: Palm Springs, CA: Latest information regarding the raid on Palm Springs City Hall.
** As of 11:00pm PT on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015: **
– Investigators with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Riverside County District Attorney’s Office served search warrants at Palm Springs City Hall on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015.
The joint task force known as the Inland Empire Public Corruption Task Force involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service raided Palm Springs City Hall served criminal search warrants on Palm Springs City Hall closing the building for business and sending employees home during the investigation raid.
By 6:00pm PT, investigators were seen rolling out the the Palm Springs City Hall building boxes and computer electronics.
Investigators also met with Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet and removed items in his possession that had been included in the search warrants on Palm Springs City Hall.
The raid on Palm Springs City Hall comes after the Fair Political Practices Commission (F.P.P.C.) announced they would investigate a vote done by Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet that awarded the sale of city property at a questionable price to developer Richard Meaney and his partner.
In December 2014, Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet voted to sell city-owned land to Richard Meaney and his partner for under $200,000, not long after purchasing an adjacent lot from a private owner for $1 million.
The investigation by Fair Political Practices Commission (F.P.P.C.) reportedly began after The Desert Sun published a series of stories linking the mayor to more than $200,000 in consulting work to Union Abbey, a company owned by Richard Meaney.
You can read more about what lead to the Fair Political Practices Commission (F.P.P.C.) investigation at the following The Desert Sun website address: **
Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet released a statement through Palm Springs City Manager David Ready in response to the raid at Palm Springs City Hall saying, “I am happy to cooperate with the inquiry going on at City hall, just as I have always been fully cooperative and open in all of my many years as an elected official in Palm Springs. I have complete confidence that our City Council, City Manager, City Attorney and City Staff will do everything they can to cooperate by ensuring that this process will be as swift and as thorough as possible. Palm Springs has made tremendous progress over the past eight years. We simply can’t permit this matter to sidetrack our efforts to make the future even brighter.”
** As of 4:00pm PT on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015: **
– Federal Bureau of Investigation agents served search warrants at Palm Springs City Hall in Palm Springs, California at around 9:00am PT on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 in related to “allegations of criminal activity”.
** Picture from NBC News and NBC affiliate KMIR (Channel 6): **
At least 3 to 4 Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were seen inside Palm Springs City Hall closing the building and having all employees be sent home.
Authorities were also seen going to City of Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet’s Palm Springs residence.
According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation Spokesperson, this probe was being carried out in connected to a task force investigation into allegations of public corruption.
** More information is still coming into ZachNews. **