William Beavers sentenced to 6 months in prison
September 25, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Former Cook County Cmsr. and 7th Ward Ald. William Beavers was sentenced to six months in prison and a year of supervision plus fines Wednesday.
Beavers received a $10,000 fine and must pay 30,848 in restitution.
Prosecutors recommended a 21-month prison sentence, but Beavers said he should receive probation and no prison time.
As the ABC7 Chicago I-Team has reported, Beavers argues that, for years, he took from his campaign funds then paid the money back. It was only until he says he refused to cooperate with the FBI and IRS against commissioners John Daley and Todd Stroger that he was charged with the crime.
Prosecutors say he didn't pay about $30,000 in taxes on gambling money he took from his campaign fund.
Beavers, 79, decided to not make a statement to Judge James Zagel. It may have been a gamble that paid off. In the end, Zagel said this was a common tax offense, there was no corruption and he was not selling his vote.
The former commissioner, alderman and police officer arrived early to his hearing Wednesday morning.
"I'm not a stool pigeon, I'm not going to be a stool pigeon and never will be one," Beavers said.
Bill Beavers had plenty to say to reporters outside the courtroom.
"Like I said, I ain't begging for nothing. I don't beg my woman, so you know I wasn't going to beg the judge," he said.
"I think this is corruption," said Gary Shapiro, acting U.S. Attorney. "He effectively embezzled that money, he stole the money people gave him to use for campaign expenses, and he of course didn't pay taxes on it."
Beavers slid into a seat on the county board when his political godson Todd Stroger took over. Beavers claims the government prosecuted him because he wouldn't offer up any dirt on other elected officials.
"Do you know how rare it to have a man come into the federal courthouse, look the U.S. government in the face and say, 'Shoot your best shot, I will take it!' That's a man, and I love a man like that!" said Sam Adam, Jr., Beavers' attorney.
"I'm a hero in my community. My people love me. You know why they love me? For standing up to fight the government one on one," he said.
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