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Feds drop bribery case against utility regulator

Posted: 9:12 AM, Aug 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-08 16:12:21Z
Feds drop bribery case against utility regulator

Prosecutors are dropping the bribery case against former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce and three others after their trial ended three weeks ago with a mistrial.

The U.S. Attorney's Office informed a judge Tuesday that it was dismissing all charges against Pierce, his wife Sherry, water company owner George Johnson and lobbyist Jim Norton.
    
Gary Pierce was accused of accepting $31,000 in bribes from Johnson in exchange for favorable regulatory decisions.
    
Prosecutors said the bribe was funneled to Pierce by Johnson through a political consulting firm that employed Sherry Pierce.
    
Norton was accused of facilitating the scheme.
    
All four vigorously disputed they participated in an influence-buying scheme.
    
The filing by prosecutors didn't say why the case was being dismissed.
    
The trial ended in a mistrial in mid-July after jurors deadlocked.