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William Beavers Sentenced To 6 Months In Prison

By Chuck Sudo in News on Sep 25, 2013 4:00PM

William Beavers

Former Cook County Commissioner and self-styled “Hog with the Big Nuts” William Beavers was sentenced to six months in prison and fined $10,000 Wednesday after being convicted in March of tax evasion. The sentence imposed by Judge James Zagel was hardly the neutering prosecutors were expecting; they recommended a prison term of 21 months.

Beavers’s attorneys sought probation for their client, claiming he was convicted of a “common tax offense.” Zagel agreed with the defense but said Beavers’s role as a public official warranted some prison time. “I don’t think he falls into the category of people with great power,” Zagel said, possibly wounding Beavers’s ego in the process.

Beavers was convicted on three counts of filing false tax returns between 2006 and 2008 and one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the Internal Revenue Service. He spent more than $225,000 in campaign funds to boost his pension and cover his gambling debts, and used his $1,200 monthly county contingency account for personal purposes, including gambling at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind., during that time frame without paying taxes on them.

Beavers has claimed all along that prosecutors targeted him because he wouldn’t wear a wire against fellow county commissioner John Daley, blasted the trial as a sham and said “there’s no law against gambling with campaign funds.”

Zagel ordered Beavers to begin serving his sentence Dec. 2. Beavers, as expected, plans to appeal the conviction.