Judge lets stand bribery charges in Johnson Utilities case; trial to start May 30

Former utility regulator Gary Pierce rushes past reporters last year following his initial court appearance. /Howard Fischer/Courtesy

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services | San Tan Valley Sentinel

A federal judge has rejected a bid by a former utility regulator, his wife, a lobbyist and a utility executive to throw out criminal charges against them.

In a ruling Wednesday, Judge John Tuchi sided with federal prosecutors in concluding that there’s nothing inherently unconstitutional about federal laws which make bribery a crime. More to the point, the judge said the statutes are sufficiently clear to allow Gary Pierce and the others to defend themselves when the trial starts on May 30.

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