Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Commissioner Beavers Bares Teeth

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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.

Indicted Cook County Commissioner William Beavers went on the attack Thursday over claims he took thousands of dollars from campaign accounts for personal use.

With his attorneys by his side, Beavers angrily claimed he has proof that the money was paid back and that it could legally be used. He said his office has a document showing the $68,000 payout he took from his campaign fund was paid back in 2009.

"It's against the law to lie to the FBI, but it's not against the law for them to lie on you," Beavers said. "And that's what they've been doing all the time: lying, lying, lying."

"We're going to be able to show you that all $220,000 -- if they said it was $300,000 -- or whatever it was, he paid back either to the campaign fund or he paid his taxes on the money legitimately," said attorney Sam Adam Jr.

Court documents indicate the repayment to the campaign fund came a month after Beavers received a visit from the IRS and the FBI, but at the same time, campaign law on the issue is murky. The payment to his personal pension fund is not an area directly prohibited by Illinois law.

The commissioner is charged with three counts of filing false tax returns. Authorities allege he under-reported his total income and taxable income on his federal returns for 2006 through 2008.

Beavers disputes those charges. And he had a message for former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald:

"You know, for three years, Fitzgerald has been hounding me. I'm going to try to hound him for the next six months, OK? He's a rooster without nuts."

U.S. District Judge James Zagel set Beavers' trial date for Dec. 3.

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