Ex-Massachusetts Treasurer Timothy Cahill, whose trial on charges of fraud ended in December when the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict, won’t be re-tried.
Cahill, 54, was indicted in April 2012 for planning to use $1.5 million of state lottery advertising funds to promote his unsuccessful run for governor in 2010. A state attorney said at a court hearing in Boston today that it won’t seek another trial and that Cahill will pay a $100,000 fine.
“We have jointly filed a disposition agreement that will resolve the prosecution of the Cahill case with a civil disposition, a civil acknowledgment of an ethics violation,” James O’Brien, a Massachusetts assistant attorney general, told the judge.
The jury of seven women and five men, after about a week of deliberations, told Suffolk Superior Judge Christine Roach on Dec. 12 that they were deadlocked. Roach accepted the agreement today.
“I find this proposed agreement to be balanced, reasonable and very much reflective of the trial we had in this courtroom,” Roach said. “I find the proposal to be in the interest of justice.”
Cahill, as state treasurer, gave the go-ahead to use 75 percent of the lottery’s advertising budget for TV and radio ads that promoted his flagging campaign, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said last year. He was charged with two counts of conspiracy and one count each of procurement fraud and using his office for unwarranted privileges. He faced as long as five years in prison if convicted.
“The fact there will be no criminal admission is something both sides worked on and worked out,” Brad Bailey, one of Cahill’s lawyers, told the judge. “We have talked to the ethics commission as well. The fact that they are involved too saves this court and other bodies great resources and shows a meeting of the minds of what we feel to be a fair settlement.”
Cahill will be on probation for 18 months to four years, under the terms of the agreement. He must make a payment of $25,000 a year. If he pays off the entire fine in 18 months, the probation will end.
Documents showed there was coordination between Cahill’s independent campaign for governor and the lottery, Coakley said. Although the ads didn’t name Cahill, they said that the lottery was “consistently well-managed.” His effectiveness in managing the lottery and allocating ticket revenue to municipalities was one of his key campaign points, she said.
In closing arguments Dec. 4, Cahill’s lawyer Jeffrey Denner said the ads were aired to defend the lottery against political advertising placed by the Republican Governors Association that maligned its management. He said the RGA launched the ads out of fear that its candidate, Charlie Baker, was falling behind Cahill with voters.
Cahill lost the race to incumbent Democrat Deval Patrick.
The jury acquitted Scott Campbell, Cahill’s former campaign manager, of charges of conspiracy and procurement fraud.
Alfred Grazioso, the former chief of staff of the lottery, is awaiting trial on charges of obstructing justice during the attorney general’s probe.
This was the first time criminal charges were brought under state ethics laws that were made tougher in 2009.
The case is Commonwealth v. Cahill, SUCR2012-10348, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Superior Court (Boston).
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