Government to decide whether to re-try bribery case after mistrial

Former utility regulator Gary Pierce rushes past reporters last year following his initial court appearance. / Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer.

 

By Katie Campbell | Arizona Capitol Times

Gary Pierce and his fellow co-defendants aren’t off the hook yet, despite the government’s failed attempt to convince a jury they were part of a scheme to bribe the former utility regulator.

The futures of Pierce, his wife, Sherry Pierce, lobbyist Jim Norton and utility owner George Johnson are no more certain than they were more than a month ago when the so-called “Ghost Lobby” bribery trial began.

The Pierces were accused of accepting $31,500 in bribes from Johnson in exchange for Pierce’s favorable votes while he sat on the Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates Johnson Utilities. Norton allegedly facilitated the bribes.

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