Jury gets corruption case against former Mass. Treasurer Tim Cahill

Wednesday December 5, 2012

BOSTON (AP) -- A jury on Tuesday began deliberating corruption charges against former state treasurer Tim Cahill, who was portrayed at trial as an altruistic public servant who defended the state lottery against an attack and a scheming politician who used $1.5 million in taxpayer-funded advertising for his sinking gubernatorial campaign.

As prosecutors and Cahill’s lawyers made their closing arguments, the jury was left with two vastly different pictures of Cahill and his motivation for approving a lottery ad blitz about a month before the 2010 gubernatorial election.

Cahill’s lawyer, Jeff Denner, said he did it because the lottery had been battered by a series of attack ads the Republican Governors Assoc iation ran against Cahill, who ran as an independent.

"In plain English, Timothy Cahill ... has committed no crime," Denner told the jury. "It was an appropriate advertising response to what was going on."

But Assistant Attorney General James O’Brien said a string of emails and text messages among Cahill’s campaign advisers shows that it was obvious that the campaign considered the lottery ads free political advertising for Cahill, who was also promoting his work as the head of the lottery in separate gubernatorial campaign ads.

O’Brien mocked Cahill’s claim during his testimony that it never crossed his mind that the taxpayer-funded ads promoting the benefits of the state lottery running at the same time as his own campaign ads touting his management of the lottery could promote his gubernatorial campaign.

Cahill is charged with conspiracy to use his official position to gain an unwarranted privilege and conspiracy to commit procurement fraud.


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