Owner of Johnson Utilities steps down a day after indicted for bribery, conspiracy

Posted at 3:47 PM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 20:31:25-04

The owner of Johnson Utilities is removing himself from management, according to a recent notice filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission.

On Friday, Johnson Utilities owner and founder George H. Johnson removed himself a day after being indicted in federal court for bribery, conspiracy and the related charges.

According to the notice filed by Crockett Law Group, Johnson is removing himself from the head of Johnson Utilities to “devote his time to defending himself until he is cleared of the recent charges.”

RELATED: JohnsonUtilitiesowner speaks to ABC15 about high nitrate levels in drinking water

On Tuesday, a 17-page indictment filed in U.S. District Court alleged that Johnson and former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce developed and elaborate scheme that paid Pierce over $30,000. The alleged deal also included employment for Pierce's wife.

Johnson Utilities has been the subject of scrutiny for some years over rate increases and quality of water that they provide to residents in San Tan Valley.