BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The public corruption trial of former Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill has ended in a mistrial after the jury in the case was unable to reach an unanimous verdict.
Cahill was happy with the outcome, saying, “I don’t think I have ever won a unanimous vote in my whole life.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Mark Katic reports
On Tuesday, jurors gave Judge Christine Roach a note that stated they could not all agree on a verdict.
“We all have come to a verdict for the defendant Scott Campbell. We all can not come together with an agreement on the defendant Timothy P Cahill,” the note read.
Judge Roach said Wednesday that she was confident jurors had deliberated thoroughly in Cahill’s case and that their communications indicated they were deadlocked. The trial stretched on for six weeks, and jurors deliberated at least 40 hours.
Cahill thanked jurors, his lawyers, his family and his friends as he spoke to reporters outside the courtroom.
“I feel it was total vindication,” Cahill said of the jury deadlock.
Attorney General Martha Coakley has not yet said if her office will retry Cahill.
Coakley said investigators brought the case against Cahill after finding “significant evidence” that he attempted to use $1.5 million in taxpayer money for the state lottery to run ads designed to help his faltering 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
Cahill testified that he approved the advertising blitz because he wanted to defend the lottery after the Republican Governors Association ran a series of negative ads attacking him and his management.
Coakley said she still believes in the “strength” of the case against Cahill.
Asked if he worries Coakley could seek to try him again, Cahill replied, “She can do whatever she wants to do. … I have no fears.”
Tim Cahill Outside Court
Cahill, who oversaw the lottery as treasurer, was charged with conspiracy to use his official position to gain an unwarranted privilege and conspiracy to commit procurement fraud. He faced a maximum of five years in prison.
During the month-long trial, prosecutors portrayed him as a shrewd politician who approved an ad blitz touting the benefits of the lottery to run during the month before the election because he hoped it would boost his independent campaign for governor, which by that point was faltering badly. Cahill was also running separate campaign ads touting his leadership of the lottery.
But Cahill’s lawyer, Jeff Denner, said the lottery ads were an appropriate response to the Republican governors’ attack ads.
Denner and Cahill attorney Brad Bailey said Wednesday they believe violations Cahill was accused of should have been civil, not criminal, and that the charges should have been decided by a state ethics commission rather than a criminal jury.
After the mistrial was declared, Cahill hugged his wife and smiled, then walked down the front row of the courtroom and hugged each of the friends and family members sitting there. He also shook hands with court officers and clerks.
He was asked outside if he had any desire to return to public life.
“I don’t plan to, no,” he said. His wife, Tina, then piped up from behind him and said with a smile, “No,” which drew laughter from the crowd.
Asked what he would do to celebrate, Cahill smiled and replied, “There are still a lot of leaves in the yard.”
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