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A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday after jurors were unable to reach a verdict on whether former Massachusetts Treasurer Timothy Cahill conspired to run $1.5 million in taxpayer-funded lottery ads to help his 2010 run for governor.
Cahill hugged his family and his lawyers, and wiped away a tear when Judge Christine Roach declared the mistrial. And then, he had kind words for his co-defendant and former campaign manager.
"I want to thank my good friend, Scott Campbell, and the other people that were brought into this case. They are all fine public servants, were all fine public servants and they deserve nothing but your respect and my respect," Cahill said. "I came into this courtroom 43 days ago respecting them, and I leave this courtroom today respecting them even more."
One juror, who identified himself only as juror 15, said after Campbell was acquitted on Tuesday the jury considered whether Cahill could conspire with only himself.
"Definitely. That was definitely an issue that was brought up," the juror said.
Juror 15 said he voted not guilty, but would not say how other jurors voted. A mistrial means Cahill still stands indicted, his fate still in the hands of Attorney General Martha Coakley, who has not said whether or not she will retry the case.
Cahill says he has nothing to say to Coakley. When asked whether he is concerned she'll retry the case, Cahill said she can do whatever she wants.
Cahill's attorneys said even if there was a question about wrongdoing in the emails and phone conversations Cahill and his aides exchanged over the ads, it did not belong in court.
"I think it has always been our feeling that it did not belong here," said Jeffrey Denner, one of Cahill's attorneys. "And we're not assigning any wrongdoing to anyone whatsoever, but to criminalize this kind of behavior in the context this case was in ... was something that probably was a bad call."
"It has been our opinion from the start that these cases are more properly brought and resolved in a civil setting in front of the State Ethics Commission than they are in a criminal courtroom, and we feel very strongly about that," said Cahill's other attorney, Brad Bailey.
Coakley had as many as six assistant attorneys general present in the courtroom during the trial. Eight state troopers worked on the case for two years. During a press conference after the mistrial was declared, Coakley addressed accusations that her decision to prosecute was far out of proportion to the crime charged.
"This is our job. We have a Public Integrity Division whose job is to investigate and prosecute cases like this. This case we did in what would be our normal course of business," Coakley said. "I don't think you can reach conclusions from one particular verdict or another that we're not doing our job. I stand by the job that our trial team did."
Cahill says he will not go back into public life. His wife, Tina, predicts his prosecution will have a chilling effect on people in public office.
"For people in politics, I think this is a scary situation," she said. "What it's going to do is keep people from doing their job, because they're going to be afraid that no matter what they do when they sign a piece of paper, that that's going to be like, 'Oh, is there a political process that's going to come back at me because I did this?' So I think it's something that's going to be detrimental to the political system."
When asked what he will do now, Cahill said he hadn't really thought about that yet.
"Probably raking leaves," he said. "There's a a lot of leaves left in the yard, so..."
Prosecutors and defense attorneys are due back in court next month to discuss whether Coakley wants to retry the case.
This post was updated with the Morning Edition feature version.
This program aired on December 12, 2012.
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