Lawyers want defense in Pierce, Johnson bribery case to keep evidence confidential to protect bigger case

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

Federal prosecutors are offering to tell defendants in the Corporation Commission bribery case who and what else they’re investigating — but only if they agree not to share that information with anyone else.

The proposal, made in a new court filing, comes as attorneys for former utility regulator Gary Pierce, his wife, a lobbyist, and a wastewater company executive seek details of the FBI inquiry that led to their indictment in May on multiple federal charges. The lawyers say they need that information to prepare their defense for the Oct. 3 trial.

In that filing, the prosecutors essentially admit they pretty much tripped across the facts that led to the bribery charges against the four “during a much larger and more intensive investigation.” They provided no specifics.

But in communications with defense attorneys, Assistant U.S. Attorney Frederick Battista, who is leading the legal team, said he does not want to tip off those other targets.


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