- Associated Press - Thursday, June 28, 2018

PHOENIX (AP) - The Latest on closing arguments at the bribery trial for former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce (all times local):

4:24 p.m.

The lawyer for former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce says at the former utility regulator’s bribery trial that prosecutors didn’t prove her client took anything in exchange for favorable decisions for a water company owner.

Pierce is accused of having $31,000 funneled to him by company owner George Johnson through a consulting firm and trying to get Johnson to buy him a $300,000 piece of land.

Pierce’s attorney, Patricia Gitre, says Thursday during closing statements that federal authorities were in a rush to file the case against her client because the statute of limitations was about to kick in.



Pierce, Johnson and two other people have vigorously disputed they were participated in an influence-buying scheme and pleaded not guilty to charges.

1:16 p.m.

A prosecutor says former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce breached his duty to the public by accepting $31,000 in bribes from a water company owner in exchange for favorable regulatory decisions.

Prosecutor Frederick Battista told jurors in closing arguments Thursday at Pierce’s trial that Pierce was doing the bidding of someone he had been entrusted to regulator.

In turn, the prosecutor said Pierce voted for a rate increase that benefited the water company and approved a measure that lets the firm’s owner use ratepayer money to pay his personal income tax bill.

Pierce and three others have pleaded not guilty to bribery and other charges.

Their lawyers are scheduled to make closing arguments Thursday afternoon.

10:50 p.m.

Closing arguments are scheduled Thursday at the trial of a former elected Arizona utility regulator charged with accepting bribes from a water company owner in exchange for favorable decisions.

Former Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce is accused of accepting $31,000 in bribes that authorities say were made on behalf of water company owner George Johnson, and of trying to get Johnson to buy him a $350,000 piece of land.

In exchange, prosecutors said Pierce voted for a rate increase that benefited the water company and approved a measure that lets the firm’s owner use ratepayer money to pay his personal income tax bill.

Pierce, Johnson and two other people accused in the case dispute the allegations and have pleaded not guilty to charges.

The trial began a month ago.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide