Start of trial reset in former regulator's bribery case

Posted at 11:40 AM, Jul 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-04 14:40:04-04

A new trial date has been set for former Arizona Corporation Commission Gary Pierce and three others who are charged in what prosecutors say was a bribery scheme aimed at benefiting a water company owner.

Pierce, his wife Sherry, water company owner George Johnson and lobbyist Jim Norton were set to be tried Aug. 2, but their trial date has been moved to Oct. 3.

They pleaded not guilty to bribery and fraud charges.

Prosecutors say Johnson funneled $31,000 through Norton to Pierce and his wife for favorable treatment in a rate case before the commission.

Prosecutors say Pierce also was the intended recipient of a $350,000 property that was supposed to be paid for by Johnson, though it's unknown if the real estate deal was in fact completed.