BOSTON (AP) - An aide to former Massachusetts treasurer Tim Cahill was found not guilty of corruption charges on Tuesday, but jurors did not reach a verdict on charges against Cahill and a judge asked them to keep deliberating.
Cahill and former chief of staff Scott Campbell were charged with violating state ethics laws by scheming to use $1.5 million in taxpayer-funded lottery advertisements to boost Cahill's sinking 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
Tuesday was the sixth day of deliberations in the case. Campbell smiled broadly after the verdict was read and Cahill hugged him, patted him on the back and told him "good luck."
"We're very happy," said Campbell, who was mobbed by reporters as he left the courtroom. "We're very relieved."
The jurors resumed deliberations after Judge Christine Roach provided them a legal instruction given to deadlocked juries and told the panelists it would be "desirable" to reach a unanimous verdict.
She reminded them the burden to prove the case was on the state, asked them to consider each other's opinions and said there's no indication 12 other people could decide the case any better than they could.
"It is your duty to decide the case, if you can do so conscientiously," she said.
Cahill, who oversaw the lottery as treasurer, is charged with conspiracy to use his official position to gain an unwarranted privilege and conspiracy to commit procurement fraud. He faces a maximum of five years in prison.
During the month-long trial, prosecutors portrayed him as a shrewd politician who approved an ad blitz touting the benefits of the lottery to run during the month before the election because he hoped it would boost his independent campaign for governor, which by that point was faltering badly. Cahill was also running separate campaign ads touting his leadership of the lottery.
But Cahill's lawyer, Jeff Denner, said his client decided to run the ads because the lottery had been damaged by a series of attack ads the Republican Governors Association ran against Cahill.
"It was an appropriate advertising response to what was going on," Denner said.
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