Tax trial for outspoken Cook County pol begins Monday

March 10, 2013

WBEZ/File
File: Cook County Board member William Beavers during a board meeting January ‎18, ‎2012.

The federal tax fraud trial of Cook County Commissioner William Beavers is set to begin Monday.

Prosecutors say Beavers took more than $226,000 out of his campaign and Cook County Board accounts and used the money on personal expenses, but he allegedly didn’t pay taxes on it.

The government has suggested it will make Beavers’ gambling a key part of its trial, saying there were times the commissioner was at a casino, then left to cash a campaign check, then went right back to the casino.

The Chicago Democrat maintains it was an honest mistake, and that he later paid some of the money back.

Beavers, an outspoken, old-school politician, claims he’s only being prosecuted because he refused to wear a wire for the feds.

Federal agents have acknowledged asking for his cooperation. But that’s an argument Judge James Zagel will not let Beavers make during his trial.