Tim Cahill pleads not guilty to corruption charges
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Former Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill pleaded not guilty to four counts of public corruption and ethics violations on Wednesday.
Outside of court he insisted no one did anything wrong.
“Today is the beginning of a long process that will result in the end in my name being cleared and my reputation being restored,” said Cahill.
Cahill is accused of using $1.5 million in taxpayer-funded lottery advertisements to pump up his image during his 2010 race for governor during a time when he struggled with contributions.
Cahill and his lawyer say the ads were a direct response to the attack ads on the lottery by the Republican Governor’s Association. Cahill claims the negative ads hurt lottery sales.
“The RGA ads had gone for the jugular of the lottery and a response was necessary and that a defense had to be mounted,” said Peter Parker, Cahill’s lawyer.
“I understood the risks associated with the ads. As a candidate for governor, I could be criticized for approving ads that were in the best interest of the lottery,” Cahill said.
Cahill, along with two co-defendants, face jail time if convicted. Cahill’s attorney says he acted legally under Massachusetts campaign finance laws.
Also charged in the conspiracy is Scott Campbell, Cahill's former chief of staff, and Al Graziano, the Lottery's chief of staff.
Graziano is charged with intimidated two potential witnesses who work for him. Graziano allegedly harrassed the women daily, as they were about to be interviewed by the Attorney General's office. One woman said Graziano made her feel like an "absolute wreck."
“What the Attorney General is trying to do here is for the first time ever a different criminal statute, a brand-new statute to try and make criminal what has long been legal,” said Parker.
According to Cahill’s lawyer, he claims it was top managers at the lottery who were in favor of the ads. The state’s statement of facts reads the top managers actually forcefully opposed the idea, believing that if Cahill ran the ads he would be crucified.
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