Former state treasurer Timothy Cahill “reached into the lottery’s pocket’’ for an advertising blitz designed to boost his flagging candidacy for governor, prosecutors said today in the first day of Cahill’s public corruption trial.
Jim O’Brien, chief of the attorney general’s public integrity division, said the $1.8 million campaign was orchestrated by Cahill’s campaign and closely followed research that showed Cahill’s “association with the lottery was an enormous selling point.’’
The folks at the lottery are totally in the dark,’’ O’Brien told the jury. When the lottery’s director discovered plans for the campaign, he was “shocked,’’ O’Brien said.
But Cahill’s lawyer, Brad Bailey, said the ad campaign was a legitimate response to attack ads run by the Republican Governors Association.
“He considered it his fiduciary duty,’’ Bailey said, to “protect the lottery and leave it in good standing.’’
“He made the decision not as candidate Cahill but as treasurer Cahill,’’ he said.
Bailey said that after examining the evidence in the case, jurors would find the state’s case was built on “nothing more than foundations made of sand.’’