Former state treasurer Timothy P. Cahill’s co-defendant was cleared of corruption charges today, but a jury continued to deliberate on charges that Cahill himself used public money to boost his faltering 2010 gubernatorial campaign when he authorized an ad campaign touting the state lottery.
Scott Campbell, Cahill’s former campaign manager, was acquitted by a Suffolk Superior Court jury of two conspiracy charges.
“I’m very happy. I’m very relieved. I’m ready to move on. Thank you to the jury,” Campbell said outside the courtroom after the verdict.
After the jury acquitted Campbell, Judge Christine Roach gave jurors still pondering Cahill’s case what lawyers call the “dynamite’’ charge, a legal instruction urging jurors to reach a unanimous verdict. Such a charge is the last step usually taken before a mistrial is declared due to a jury deadlock. Cahill also faces two conspiracy charges.
Shortly before 3 p.m., the jury had a question for the judge. She answered it without revealing what the question was. At about 4 p.m., the judge sent the jurors went home for the day, admonishing them not to read or watch media coverage of the trial. Deliberations were expected to resume Wednesday morning.
“I’m happy for Scott,” Cahill said as he left the courtroom.
Campbell and Cahill allegedly conspired to use a $1.5 million ad blitz for the state lottery, which Cahill oversaw as treasurer, to boost Cahill’s independent run for governor.
After the verdict in Campbell’s favor was announced, someone from his group of supporters gave an exultant “Yes!’’ while Campbell hugged Cahill’s attorneys. Then Cahill, who has sat at the opposite end of the defense table and wasn’t in eye contact with his political ally during the trial, stepped toward him and patted him on the shoulder.
Campbell told reporters he told Cahill “good luck’’ during the brief exchange. After brief comments to reporters, Campbell, accompanied by his wife, left the ninth floor of the courthouse where he has spent each weekday for more than five weeks.
Tina Cahill, Cahill’s wife, said Campbell’s acquittal gave her hope.
Campbell’s legal troubles are not over. He still faces charges in a separate case against former probation commissioner John O’Brien. O’Brien allegedly raised campaign contributions for Cahill in 2005 to help his wife obtain a job with the then-treasurer. Campbell was serving as Cahill’s chief of staff at the time, handling personnel issues.
Campbell is scheduled to be tried on the O’Brien-related charges next April, according to court records. He has pleaded not guilty to six charges including conspiring with O’Brien to get O’Brien’s wife a job by unlawful means, conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws, and three counts of making disguised campaign donations.
Defense attorneys have told jurors that the ads, which ran from Sept. 29 through the general election on Nov. 2 and praised lottery management without directly mentioning Cahill, were designed to boost sales, not Cahill’s candidacy, which ultimately failed.
The Globe today filed a motion requesting that Roach disclose the text of any written questions jurors submitted to the judge before they reached their verdicts in the Campbell case.
From the bench, Roach ordered attorneys in the case not to discuss the questions, and did not publicly explain the reasons behind her gag order. In court papers, attorneys for the Globe argued Roach was wrong to do so.
“In order to impound a presumptively public record, the Court is required to make findings demonstrating, in essence, that impoundment is necessary to effectively serve a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to accomplish that purpose,’’ attorneys Jon Albano and Timothy Madden wrote for the Globe. “Public access to the questions will not threaten the jury’s deliberations, since the jury already is well aware of the questions they have posed.”
The jury is continuing its deliberations this afternoon. Roach has not yet ruled on the Globe’s request.