Former supermarket CEO pleads guilty to pandering charge

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX -- A former supermarket CEO who was arrested in a child prostitution sting has pleaded guilty to attempt to commit pandering.

Michael Gilliland entered his plea on Tuesday. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on October 9.

Gilliland was arrested in February 2011 after going to a hotel to meet an underage girl for sex. The girl he was planning to meet was an undercover officer.

Gilliland was originally facing one count of felony child prostitution, which he pleaded not guilty to in March 2011.

Gilliland founded Wild Oats Market and then sold it to Whole Foods. He went on to start Sunflower Farmers Market.

Gilliland resigned from his position as CEO of Sunflower Farmers Market following his arrest.