BOSTON Former state Treasurer Timothy Cahill was indicted Monday on public corruption charges related to advertisements promoting the state lottery that ran during his unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2010.
“We allege that Treasurer Cahill made a decision with others to abuse his position of trust and put his own political ambitions before the best interest of the taxpayers,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley during a news conference to announce the indictments.
“The motive and the fraudulent intent here was to use 75 percent of [a $2 million budget] to promote a gubernatorial campaign,” Coakley said. “We allege that it’s an unwarranted, unfair and unlawful advantage, and it’s criminal in Massachusetts.”
Cahill’s attorney, E. Peter Parker, said he was surprised by the indictment.
“I have seen no evidence of criminal conduct by anybody, which does not surprise me because the truth is that nobody did anything wrong,” Parker said in a statement.
“We are confident that a jury will agree and in the end, the attorney general will have wasted an enormous amount of time, energy and scarce resources to bring criminal charges that never should have been brought,” Parker added.
Cahill faces charges of violating state ethics laws and procurement fraud, and conspiracy to violate those laws. He faces a maximum of five years in prison.
Scott Campbell, Cahill’s former chief of staff, was indicted on similar charges. Former lottery chief of staff Alfred Grazioso was indicted on two counts of obstruction of justice.
Cahill served two terms as treasurer as a Democrat before running for governor as an independent. He finished a distant third behind Gov. Deval Patrick, who won re-election, and Republican Charles Baker.
The lottery ads began running on radio and television stations in September 2010, and highlighted the success of the lottery in helping provide funding for local communities. It did not mention Cahill by name.
The state treasurer oversees the state lottery.
Cahill’s one-time gubernatorial campaign manager, Adam Meldrum, who had defected to Baker’s campaign, said in October 2010 that he was poised to give the attorney general evidence that Cahill improperly coordinated with his campaign to release taxpayer-funded TV ads touting how well the lottery was run.
Cahill filed suit at the time against Meldrum and other former staffers to prevent them from sharing information about the Cahill campaign with Baker’s campaign.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom