Gary Pierce update: Mistrial declared for former Arizona regulator

Posted at 2:28 PM, Jul 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-17 17:28:26-04

A judge has declared a mistrial at the bribery trial of former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce after jurors deadlocked over whether the he accepted $31,000 from a water company owner in exchange for favorable regulatory decisions.

The decision Tuesday by Judge John Tuchi came after about 18 hours of deliberation over four days.

Pierce was stoic when the judge announced the decision to end the trial.

Pierce was accused of accepting $31,000 in bribes from water company owner George Johnson.

Authorities say Pierce also tried to get Johnson to buy him a piece of land in Mesa worth $300,000 or more, though the deal was never completed.

The mistrial was declared for Pierce, Johnson, Pierce's wife Sherry and lobbyist Jim Norton.

They had pleaded not guilty to the charges.