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December 12, 2012

Cahill trial ends in mistrial

(Continued)

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 said he sees the mistrial as a victory.

“I feel it was total vindication,” he said.

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.”

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 monthlong trial, prosecutors portrayed him as a conniving 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.

The ads highlighted the success of the lottery in providing millions in funding for local communities. The ads did not show Cahill’s image or mention him by name.

Cahill’s lawyers, Jeff Denner and Brad Bailey, said that they believe the 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 jury.

Cahill, who served eight years as state treasurer, then finished a distant third in the governor’s race, was asked whether he had any desire to return to public life.

“I don’t plan to, no,” he said.

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