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December 12, 2012

Cahill walks after deadlocked jury results in mistrial

BOSTON — After acquitting his co-defendant, a 12-person jury was unable over the past week to reach a unanimous verdict on former Treasurer Tim Cahill’s public corruption charges, leading to a hung jury and mistrial.

Attorney General Martha Coakley secured a grand jury indictment against the 54-year-old former treasurer last April, accusing him of conspiring to obtain an unwarranted privilege and to commit procurement fraud by allegedly using publicly funded Massachusetts State Lottery ads at the behest of his 2010 campaign for governor.

The jury declared it was unable to bridge an impasse on Wednesday afternoon, after acquitting co-defendant Scott Campbell on Tuesday. Deliberations began Tuesday, Dec. 4. It’s unclear whether Coakley will decide to re-try the case.

“You are now deadlocked,” said Judge Christine Roach said to the jury as she declared the mistrial.

Cahill stood solemnly as he absorbed the news and then hugged his wife, family members and attorneys.

Campbell, 41, was acquitted of the same charges by the same jury Tuesday. A long-time Cahill aide who rose to chief of staff of the Treasury, Campbell joined the former Democrat’s independent gubernatorial campaign in the spring of 2010 and became campaign manager after a series of campaign defections in late September 2010.

Each charge carried a sentence of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Throughout the trial, Cahill and Campbell maintained their innocence, claiming the Lottery ads were a necessary response to Republican Governors Association ads that derided Cahill’s management of the state agency, saying it overspent on cars and lobby renovations.

Cahill took the stand in his own defense in the final days of the trial, where assistant attorney general James O’Brien, chief of the public integrity division, confronted the defendant with evidence of emails between the CEO of the Lottery’s ad agency and the campaign.

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