Ex-Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet and two Coachella Valley developers were indicted on charges linking them to an alleged scheme of payments to the former mayor in exchange for his support of various projects, prosecutors announced Friday.

The trio had been previously charged by the District Attorney’s Office, but prosecutors have been frustrated by delays in moving the case to a preliminary hearing. The office released a statement Friday saying that taking the case to a grand jury for an indictment was “the best method to move the case forward toward seeking justice for the community of Palm Springs.”

Pougnet, 56, and developers Richard Hugh Meaney, 53, and John Elroy Wessman, 80, are set for arraignment Sept. 12.

Pougnet was indicted on 21 counts, while Meaney and Wessman were indicted on 10 each. The charges include accepting a bribe by an executive officer, bribing an executive officer, conflict of interest, perjury and conspiracy to commit bribery.

If convicted as charged, Pougnet could face more than 19 years in prison, and the two developers could face 12 years behind bars. Pougnet would also be barred from ever holding public office again.

The developers are accused of paying Pougnet around $375,000 between 2012 and 2014 to vote favorably when their development projects came up before the city council.

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