Thursday, August 31, 2017

UPDATE, READ: Arizona Corporation Commission Corruption Trial Continued To 2018; 9th Circuit Weighs In

The federal bribery trial involving the former Chair of the Arizona Corporation Commission has been pushed back to 2018, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has put defendant Jim Norton's appeal of the protective order on life support.

U.S. District Court Judge John Tuchi signed an order today re-setting the trial of former ACC Chair Gary Pierce, his wife Sherry Pierce, lobbyist Jim Norton, and utility company owner George Johnson from October 3 to January 3, 2018.

Sherry Pierce's attorney (Ashley Adams) requested the 90-day continuance because she is currently involved in a 6-week trial which would prevent her from being able to prepare for the October trial date. Prosecuting attorneys and fellow defense counsel did not object to the postponement.

Meanwhile, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has expressed its doubts about Norton's challenge to Judge Tuchi's earlier order restricting what information about the wider corruption investigation can be publicly disclosed by defendants. Norton has until September 12 to explain why the appellate judges should consider an appeal before conviction and imposition of sentence.

The judge had ordered prosecutors to turn over documents to defense attorneys, but restricted the defendants and their attorneys from releasing information, so as not to interfere with ongoing investigations. (Our previous article - with the protective orders - can be found here.)

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