Cook County Commissioner Bill Beavers indicted

February 23, 2012

(AP/Nam Y. Huh)

Cook County Commissioner Bill Beavers has been indicted. Federal prosecutors allege the longtime Chicago politician under-reported his income.

The 77-year-old also is accused of not paying enough taxes on money that he took from his campaign accounts and using that cash for personal use, including gambling, between 2006 and 2008.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office charged Beavers with three counts of filing false tax returns and one count of "endeavoring to obstruct and impede" the Internal Revenue Service.

"If politicians choose to use their campaign funds for personal use then they, like all citizens they serve, share the obligation to honestly report their income and pay the correct amount of taxes," Fitzgerald said in a statement.

The most glaring example alleged in the indictment occurred in November of 2006. According to prosecutors, Beavers gave a $68,763.07 check, from his campaign account, to Chicago's municipal pension fund in order to more than double his monthly pensions annuity. Prosecutors said Beavers did not report the campaign's pay-out as income.

Beavers was previously city chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. He also served six terms as an alderman on Chicago's City Council from 1983 to 2006. A call to Beaver's office was not immediately returned.

Meantime, Beavers has told media outlets Thursday that prosecutors wanted him to secretly record the powerful Cook County Finance Committee Chairman John Daley. When reached by phone, Daley said Beavers is trying to get the attention off of himself.

"I think someone's trying to move - the story of today is the indictment against Bill Beavers. And that's the entire story," Daley said. "You know, and that's the story only. It's nothing about John Daley. This is the indictment of Bill Beavers and only Bill Beavers."

Daley said he hasn't had a smooth relationship with Beavers since Beavers was elected to the Cook County Board in 2006.

WBEZ's Sam Hudzik contributed reporting.