FLORENCE — George Johnson, owner of Johnson Utilities, will not face criminal charges over a threat he allegedly made against Florence’s town manager.
The Arizona Attorney General’s Office announced on Wednesday it would not be prosecuting Johnson for an incident reported in June.
“After a thorough investigation, our office found there is no reasonable likelihood of a conviction,” said Katie Conner, spokeswoman for the attorney general, in a statement.
On June 8, Brent Billingsley contacted law enforcement, reporting that Johnson had called him and made a serious threat. Johnson allegedly made the call after the town manager was spotted trying to take a sample from a leaking Johnson Utilities truck, according to the Florence Police Department.
A report was submitted to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office, which handed the case over to the Attorney General’s Office in order to avoid a conflict of interest. The county attorney has been involved in Johnson’s Utilities’s ongoing case before the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Billingsley told PinalCentral he respects the attorney general’s decision but stands by the original statements he made to police regarding the incident.
Johnson was involved in a federal criminal case earlier this year that ended in a mistrial. Federal prosecutors accused Johnson of conspiring with others to bribe a former state utility regulator.
Arizona law defines threatening as using words or conduct to cause physical damage to a person or property. The offense is classified as a misdemeanor unless the threat is made to prevent someone from reporting illegal activity, in which case it becomes a Class 6 felony.