PHOENIX — A judge has set a new trial date 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.
The trial for Pierce, his wife Sherry, water company owner George Johnson and lobbyist Jim Norton were set to be tried Oct. 3, but their trial date has been moved to Jan. 3.
They have 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.
Prosecutors 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.