Former Cook County Commissioner William Beavers was sentenced Wednesday to six months in prison and a $10,000 fine for tax evasion. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.
Former Cook County Commissioner William Beavers was sentenced Wednesday to six months in prison and a $10,000 fine for tax evasion.
Beavers, the self-proclaimed "hog with big nuts" who professed his innocence throughout the court proceedings, remained undeterred after his sentencing hearing.
"I will win this," he told reporters. "I ain't begging for nothing. I don't beg my woman, I am not begging for this."
Beavers, 78, also called himself a "hero" for "standing and fighting the government."
Prosecutors asked for a sentence closer to two years for withdrawing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign fund over a three-year period. He contended the money amounted to nothing more than loans, but the government said it was unreported income, which he deliberately hid from the IRS.
A jury of 12 men and women reached their guilty verdict in March after just 45 minutes of deliberation.
During the trial, Beavers' defense team pointed to checks he had written back to the campaign from his personal account as evidence that the "loaned" campaign funds were being paid back.
He exited the federal courthouse after the trial claiming the government's case against him was nothing more than retaliation for his refusal to wear a wire against his colleagues, Commissioner John Daley in particular, in a wider probe of Cook County government.
Beavers was indicted in February 2012 of failing to report thousands of dollars in income, taken from his campaign funds. He also was accused of converting $68,000 in campaign money to beef up his aldermanic pension, and failing to properly account for thousands of dollars in county expense funds.
During the trial, the government said Beavers was a prolific gambler and used campaign money to feed his habit. Beavers and his attorneys said prosecutors twisted the evidence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.