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Tim Cahill On Lottery Ad Decision: ‘I’d Do It Again’

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QUINCY (CBS) – Former State Treasurer Tim Cahill vowed to fight corruption and fraud charges levied against him in an indictment announced on Monday.

Read: Keller @ Large: Cahill’s Not The Only Problem

Cahill, 53, faces criminal charges of procurement fraud and conspiracy to commit violations of state ethics laws.

As treasurer, Cahill oversaw the state lottery. The attorney general claims Cahill authorized the lottery to spend $1.5 million in taxpayer money on state lottery ads to boost his 2010 independent bid for governor.

“We allege that Treasurer Cahill abused his position to launch a television advertising campaign at the Lottery that was carefully coordinated to promote his own campaign for Governor,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said. “This was more than a million dollars in taxpayer money that was intended to benefit the public and the Lottery. We allege that the timing, amount budgeted, and coordinated messages of the Lottery ads all point to a decision made by Treasurer Cahill to abuse his position of trust and put his own political ambitions over the best interests of the taxpayers he was elected to represent.”

Outside his home Tuesday, Cahill denied he did anything wrong, calling the allegations “unfounded.”

“As treasurer, my job was to maximize lottery revenue, and I did that,” said Cahill.

Cahill added that the Lottery ran the ads to “protect themselves” against attack ads.

“They had every legal right to protect themselves and respond to the Republican Governor’s Association’s attack ads, because they spoke directly to the integrity of the lottery,” said Cahill. “So, they did the right thing. We did the right thing, and we’ll defend that in court.”

The former treasurer reiterated that he did nothing wrong and added that he would “do it again.”

“It was the right thing to do. I’d do it again, regardless of any of the issues that I’m facing right now,” said Cahill.

Cahill said he would speak again “in a couple of days” to further address the charges against him.

Cahill’s wife Tina released a statement on Facebook Tuesday defending her husband:

“Thank you everyone for your words of support,prayers and love. This is very difficult and as cliche as it may sound family and friends carry us forward. Tim has had a target on his back for two years..almost to the day .In April2010 when it appeared that as an Independent Tim could win the Governor’s race the big guns came out from both sides of the aisle. There was no way an Independent was going to win in Massachusetts. Well the guns are still drawn and I can only pray that God will protect us . To be honest I am not feeling confident in justice being served. a sad statement for all of the citizens Of This country.”

Also indicted were Scott Campbell, a former Cahill aide, and Al Grazioso, the former chief of staff of the state Lottery Commission.

Cahill, Campbell, and Grazioso will all be arraigned on Wednesday morning in Suffolk Superior Court.

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