Beavers to be in court Friday on tax charges
BY LISA DONOVAN Cook County Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org February 27, 2012 2:12PM
Commissioner William Beavers (left) and U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald | Sun-Times
Updated: February 27, 2012 8:34PM
Cook County Commissioner William Beavers will be arraigned Friday in a downtown Chicago courtroom on federal tax evasion charges, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced.
The 77-year-old old-school politician — a one-time Chicago alderman who also served on the police department — fired off a “f--- him” last week after U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald called a news conference to discuss the charges.
Friday’s hearing brings father-son defense attorneys Sam Adam and Sam Adam Jr. back to the courtroom of U.S. District Judge James Zagel, who’s been assigned to the case. The Adams represented Gov. Rod Blagojevich during his first trial in front of Zagel.
The feds allege Beavers failed to pay taxes on money he took from his campaign funds and his county expense account to go gambling and to boost his city pension.
The crime was not taking the money — it was failing to report it and pay taxes on it when he converted it to personal use, Fitzgerald said last week.
But Beavers told the Sun-Times last week the feds only indicted him because he refused to “wear a wire” to record conversations with fellow Commissioner John Daley, the brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and of former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley.
Beavers said in 2009 two FBI agents came to his South Side home and asked him to “wear a wire on John Daley.”
“They said ‘we don’t want you — we want John Daley,’” Beavers said on Thursday. He said he didn’t know why they’d be going after the veteran commissioner.
When Beavers refused, he said the feds hinted they were coming after him.
“Before they left they said ‘you know, we know you don’t pay your taxes,’” Beavers said. “I said ‘I DO pay my taxes.’”
“The very next week, I got a letter telling me I was being investigated for taxes,” Beavers said. “My attorney wrote them a letter telling them they couldn’t talk to me without him present.”
FBI spokesman Ross Rice said he couldn’t discuss whether agents paid Beavers a visit that year.
“We don’t conduct our investigations through the media, and who we speak to is not a matter of public record,” Rice said on Monday.
A year after Beavers says he refused to wear a wire, the Internal Revenue Service subpoenaed expense account reports outlining how Beavers spent a monthly stipend earmarked for out-of-pocket county business expenses.