At a Thursday morning press event, indicted Commissioner William Beavers said he can prove he never stole any money from his campaign and had a message for the federal government.
The judge who presided over Rod Blagojevich's corruption trials and sentenced the former governor will decide on motions Friday related to Cook County commissioner William Beavers.
Judge James Zagel is scheduled to rule on several pretrial motions in the tax-evasion case.
Beavers, 77, allegedly used thousands of dollars from campaign accounts for personal use and failed to report them on three consecutive tax returns, officials claim. His trial begins Monday in U.S. District court in Chicago.
Among the motions Judge James Zagel is expected to rule on is one from the government. It seeks to bar the defense from arguing before jurors that Beavers eventually did pay back all the money at issue. He apparently acted only after realizing he was under investigation.
Zagel said at a Thursday hearing that he won't permit defense attorneys to tell jurors that Beavers refused to cooperate with investigators shortly before his indictment. Zagel says that's irrelevant to his alleged crimes.
Beavers has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has maintained the indictment brought against him is retaliation because he refused to wear a wire on fellow Commissioner John Daley.
"I don't know what they wanted John Daley for. I wouldn't even go into it. When they said 'John Daley,' I cut them off," Beavers said. "If you're telling the truth, the prosecutor can prosecute you all he wants to. ... I don't owe no taxes."
Each count against Beavers carries a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.