Powerhouse lobbying firm rebrands amid federal indictment

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Jim Norton. (Source: Twitter) Jim Norton. (Source: Twitter)
Jim Norton (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Jim Norton (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The hits keep coming for the powerful lobbyist caught up in an alleged scheme to buy off the vote of a regulator.

The powerful lobbyist firm founded two years ago with Jim Norton has taken down its website and plans to change its name.

Axiom Public Affairs will be renamed Compass Rose, according to Kelsey Lundy, who had taken over as managing partner for Norton who has been on leave.

[READ MORE: Indicted lobbyist steps away from firm as clients leave]

Norton was indicted last month on federal bribery and fraud charges along with former Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce, his wife Sherry Pierce, and George Johnson, the owner of Johnson Utilities.

The feds accused Norton of acting as a go-between to funnel thousands of dollars from Johnson to Pierce.

In exchange for the money, the federal indictment accused Pierce of voting to let Johnson raise fees on his water customers so he could pay his personal income taxes.

Following the indictment, Axiom lost its biggest clients which included the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, defense contractor Raytheon, and United Healthcare of Arizona.

Axiom has deep ties to Gov. Doug Ducey as Norton has known the governor since college.

And Axiom co-founder Sean Noble directed millions of dollars from unknown donors to help Ducey win the election in 2014. According to Lundy, Noble will be part of Compass Rose.

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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