On Wednesday, former Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce, his wife Sherry, lobbyist Jim Norton, and George Johnson owner of Johnson Utilities pleaded not guilty to bribery and fraud charges in federal court in Phoenix, Arizona.
Also on Wednesday, Norton’s former wife, Arizona Mining Association president Kelly Norton, resigned from her position. It has been rumored that she is the unindicted co-conspirator mentioned in the charging documents.
Sherry Pierce was placed on unpaid administrative leave from her post by her boss, Rep. Andy Biggs. She has served as deputy district director for the congressman.
August 1, 2017 is the date set for a trial in the prosecution of the four for their alleged role in an illegal deal in which the Pierces received money in exchange for Gary’s vote to approve higher rates for Johnson Utilities, and allow Johnson to cover the cost of his personal income taxes with ratepayers’ money.
ACC continues to block Burns
The indictments of the Pierces, Norton and Johnson have highlighted the necessity of Commissioner Bob Burns’ fight with his fellow commissioners for transparency. The Commission has been shrouded in scandal since at least the 2014 election of Commission chair Tom Forese, and Commissioner Doug Little…..