- Associated Press - Thursday, December 21, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - A May 30 trial date has been set for former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce and three others charged in what prosecutors say was an influence-peddling scheme aimed at benefiting a water company owner.

Pierce, his wife Sherry, water company owner George Johnson and lobbyist Jim Norton 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.

They also 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 transaction was in fact completed.

Pierce left the commission in early 2015 because of term limits.


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