But the storied, tough-talking 77-year-old Democrat denied the charges and said he was indicted after he refused to wear a wire on fellow Cook County Commissioner John Daley. “I’m too old to be a stool pigeon,” Beavers said told the Tribune.
Beavers is accused in the indictment of not reporting as income thousands of dollars that he converted to personal use from his campaign accounts -- including more than $68,000 on one occasion -- as well as from his county discretionary spending account.
Between 2006 and 2008, Beavers paid himself more than $225,000 from three separate campaign accounts and used at least a portion of that money for personal purposes, including gambling, the indictment alleges.
In 2006, he used more than $68,000 from a campaign account to boost his city pension, and between 2006 and 2008 he used his $1,200 monthly county contingency account for personal purposes without reporting any of the funds as income on his federal tax returns, according to the indictment.
Beavers insisted today that all his taxes were paid and suggested the indictment is payback by federal prosecutors. Beavers contended he was notified by letter that he was under investigation regarding his taxes a week after he rebuffed the government request to wear a wire.
“They said, ‘We don’t want you. We want John Daley. We want you to wear a wire,’” Beavers said. He said he didn’t know why Daley would be under investigation.
John Daley denied any knowledge of a federal probe and accused Beavers of drawing him into the controversy to divert attention from his indictment.
“This thing today is about Bill Beavers. You’ve seen Bill Beavers and I interact at the County Board meetings. It’s not so positive. So he’s trying to switch the focus, and he’s so far been pretty successful,” Daley said.
“This switches the focus from him to me. He’s been able to shift the focus from the indictment of him today — to pull me into it.”
When asked if he knew of any federal investigation into him, Daley said, “No.”
Patrick Fitzgerald would not comment on Beavers’ allegations about Daley but cautioned reporters. “We don’t comment on people not charged,” he said. “We’re alleging tax crimes against one person, and that’s all I’ll say.
“It would be entirely unfair to read into my ‘non-comment,’ ” Fitzgerald added. “If you asked me if he was indicted because he failed to wear a wire on the pope, I’d say the same thing. We don’t comment on people not charged.”
According to the indictment, Beavers had sole authority over three campaign committees that supported his political activities – Citizens for Beavers, Friends of William Beavers, also known as Friends for William Beavers, and the 7th Ward Democratic Organization.
Beavers allegedly converted campaign funds for his own personal use, provided false information to his campaign treasurers regarding the use of these funds, and understated his income and the taxes he owed in his individual income tax returns for 2006, 2007 and 2008.
During those three years, Beavers had his campaign committees issue checks payable to himself and others on his behalf, then allegedly used at least some of the money for personal expenses, including an unspecified amount for gambling. About 1000 checks were made payable to Beavers personally, totaling about $96,000 in 2006, $69,300 in 2007 and $61,000 in 2008, for a total of about $226,300.
Beavers is accused of concealing his personal use of campaign funds by having campaign workers maintain records that falsely reflected the use of the campaign checks to Beavers.
"Beavers caused campaign workers to falsely record, on check stubs and other records, that certain campaign checks written to him and used for personal purposes were instead used for campaign expenses," prosecutors charged.
In some cases, Beavers allegedly told campaign workers that checks payable to him were for campaign-related expenses, even though those expenses were not incurred by the committees until months after Beavers had converted the funds, according to the indictment.
On Nov. 14, 2006, Beavers "caused" a check for $68,763.07 to be paid from Citizens for Beavers to the Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago to increase his aldermanic monthly pension from $2,890 to $6,541. Beavers once represented the 7th Ward in the Chicago City Council. The check allegedly was not reported as income on his 2006 income tax return.
From December 2006, when he began serving as a county commissioner, through November 2008, Beavers received $1,200 a month from the county's contingency account. Beavers allegedly used $28,800 for personal purposes without reporting any of it as income on tax returns.
Beavers was charged with one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the IRS and three counts of filing false federal income tax returns.