A judge will decide whether an influential Cook County commissioner facing federal tax charges can tell a jury he paid back money borrowed from his campaign — although apparently only after realizing he was under investigation.
It's an issue at the center of a hearing Thursday that could determine how William Beavers' trial plays out. The trial begins Monday in U.S. District court in Chicago.
The 77-year-old Democrat is accused of diverting thousands of dollars for personal use without reporting it.
Defense lawyers claim there's a paper trail accounting for all the funds prosecutors say Beavers misused.
But government lawyers want Judge James Zagel to bar that line of argument before jurors. They say whether Beavers paid the money back after it was misused is irrelevant to the alleged crime.