Former state Treasurer Tim Cahill’s lawyers argued yesterday the criminal charges that he used $1.8 million in state funds to make thinly veiled campaign ads should be dropped, telling a Suffolk Superior Court judge that Cahill just did what all pols do - all the way up to the president of the United States.
But prosecutors countered that Cahill went well beyond normal political opportunism, charging he plundered the state Lottery’s ad budget in a last-ditch effort to push his moribund gubernatorial campaign.
"It’s a challenge, but it’s nice to be fighting back," Cahill said.
Cahill was represented by lawyers Jeffrey Denner and Brad Bailey. Denner told the court that prosecutors had no legal grounds to bring charges, which include procurement fraud and criminal ethics violations for using taxpayer cash to produce and air television spots that prosecutors claim touted his leadership at the state Lottery.
"If they’re going to charge for this, they better build a lot more courthouses and prisons," Denner said.
But prosecutor Jim O’Brien, chief of Coakley’s public integrity division, said Cahill’s campaign ran focus groups that responded positively to his work with the Lottery. O’Brien said that the next day Cahill called the advertising firm Hill Holiday to create the ads, which the lottery was instructed to run until Nov. 4. Denner said lawyers for the Lottery as well as the state Treasury reviewed the ads before running and found no issues with them.
If you have been accused of a crime and you need a lawyer to represent you please contact Brad Bailey at 781-589-2828