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Charges Against Developer Outside Statute of Limitations, Say Attorneys in Corruption Case

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Palm Springs, CA -

Attorneys for one of two developers accused of bribing former Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet to curry favor for several downtown projects contend that several of the charges against him should be dismissed for falling outside the statute of limitations.

John Wessman is charged along with Richard Meaney with nine counts of bribing a public official and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime, but his attorneys claim in recent court filing that six of those bribery counts fall outside the three-year statute of limitations.

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Those counts should be dismissed because they pertain to alleged bribes made between September 2012 and November 2013, according to Wessman's attorneys. The men are also charged with bribes allegedly made as last as September 2014.

The attorneys are expected to argue the matter when Wessman, Meaney, and Pougnet are arraigned June 30 in Indio.

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Charges were filed in February against the two developers, who are accused of paying Pougnet around $375,000 to vote favorably when their development projects came up before the city council.

If convicted on all counts currently charges, Pougnet could face up to 19 years in state prison, while  Meaney and Wessman could each face a maximum of 12 years behind bars.

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