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Lobbyist seeks to cut allegations from bribery indictment

A lobbyist is asking a judge to delete several allegations in an indictment that accuses him of serving as a middle man in a scheme to bribe an Arizona utility regulator on behalf of a water company owner.

Lobbyist Jim Norton, who is under indictment in a bribery scheme, leaves U.S. District Court in Phoenix on June 7, 2017.

Lobbyist Jim Norton, who is under indictment in a bribery scheme, leaves U.S. District Court in Phoenix on June 7, 2017.

Lobbyist Jim Norton argues the allegations have nothing to do with the charges, are prejudicial or barred by the statute of limitations.

Norton wants to cut an allegation he acted as a go-between for then-Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce and company owner George Johnson in arranging the purchase of a $350,000 property for Pierce in exchange for favorable votes for Johnson’s business.

The indictment alleges Johnson funneled $31,000 through Norton to Pierce and Pierce’s wife for favorable treatment in a rate case.

Pierce, his wife, Norton and Johnson pleaded not guilty to charges.

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