Court grants request to keep Bogert statue in place, for now

A trial court in Riverside granted a restraining order Wednesday morning that will temporarily prevent the city from removing the statue of former Mayor Frank Bogert from in front of City Hall.  

At issue: The Palm Springs City Council voted last year to start the legal process for removing and relocating the monument, which depicts Bogert on horseback and was installed in 1990. It was scheduled to be removed Tuesday, but a lone protester blocked that from happening.

  • Others soon joined him, and the city elected not to remove the statue until a court can hear the merits of a case filed by Friends of Frank Bogert. Initial court hearings about that case are still weeks away.

  • In the meantime, a hearing on the preliminary injunction that was granted has been scheduled for June 3 at 8:30 a.m.

Group ponies up: The court cited concerns that, during removal, the statue might be dropped and suffer irreparable injury.  In addition, the court was of the opinion that the city would not suffer significant harm if the statue remained in place for a few more weeks.

  • The city attorney’s office requested a $10,000 bond be posted by The Friends of Bogert to cover costs incurred Tuesday for the removal of the statue that didn;t take place, including the rental of equipment.  The court granted this request.

What they’re saying: “The judge has issued the temporary restraining order, and we respect the decision of the judge,” said Palm Springs Mayor Lisa Middleton. “We look forward to a hearing on June 3 on the preliminary injunction.  We remain committed to finding a location for the statue that is not on the front lawn of City Hall, but that can be supported by a broad majority of the people of the City of Palm Springs.”

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