The Massachusetts Lottery agreed Thursday to halt advertising during a probe into allegations of improper coordination between its staffers and the campaign of independent gubernatorial candidate Timothy Cahill, who oversees the lottery as state treasurer.
Attorney General Martha Coakley's office, which is investigating the accusations, had asked that the lottery stop running ads until after the Nov. 2 election "to avoid even the appearance of impropriety," a request Cahill agreed within hours.
"As state Treasurer and Chairman of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, I have a responsibility to run the Lottery and Treasury to the benefit of the Commonwealth," Cahill said. "I respect and appreciate that as Attorney General, Martha Coakley also has a responsibility."
Cahill's former campaign manager, Adam Meldrum, said last week he planned to present evidence to Coakley of collusion between the Cahill campaign and the lottery to run government-paid TV ads that laud lottery management.
Cahill has sued four former aides including Meldrum, who quit the campaign after saying Cahill no longer had a chance to win. The lawsuit alleges that the former aides engineered the defection of Cahill's running mate, Paul Loscocco, who endorsed Republican rival Charles Baker.
Meldrum has claimed the lawsuit was merely an attempt to prevent him from playing whistle blower over the lottery ads.
On Wednesday, a Norfolk Superior Court judge hearing motions on the lawsuit released an affidavit filed by Meldrum with attached e-mails appearing to show coordination between the campaign and staff at the state treasury. The ads, which do not show Cahill or mention him by name, began running last month.
Both Cahill and the head of the Massachusetts Lottery, Mark Cavanagh, have strongly denied any collusion between the lottery and the campaign.
Also Thursday, Meldrum and former Cahill campaign staffers John Yob and John Weaver submitted sworn testimony saying they did not pass on any confidential information regarding Cahill's campaign.
Judge Susan Garsh ordered the sworn statements after granting Cahill's request for an injunction barring the former aides from distributing confidential campaign materials.
Cahill, a former Democrat, and Baker are challenging incumbent Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick. Green-Rainbow Party candidate Jill Stein is also on the ballot.
This program aired on October 15, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.