Updated 07/05/12 – 6:06 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Facing income tax evasion charges, Cook County Commissioner William Beavers lambasted federal prosecutors on Thursday, claiming he has evidence the charges against him are trumped up.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports federal prosecutors have said Beavers failed to pay income tax on $68,000 he borrowed from his campaign to pay for personal expenses, including gambling.
Standing with his defense team, Beavers and provided copies of a deposit slip indicating the money was repaid to his campaign fund three years before he was charged.
“The $68,000 that I took out of my campaign fund – which I legally could take out – was paid back in 2009, and they claim that they don’t know anything about it. Well, all they had to do was ask me,” Beavers said.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports Beavers also took a shot at U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald — who stepped down at the end of last month — for pushing the case against him.
“He’s a rooster without nuts,” said Beavers, who has famously referred to himself as “The Hog With the Big Nuts.”
It wasn’t the first time Beavers hasn’t attacked Fitgerald personally since his indictment. After pleading not guilty in March, Beavers accused Fitzgerald of using “Gestapo-type tactics” in pursuing corruption cases, and said it would be a “disaster” if Fitzgerald were to be named the head of the FBI, as many have speculated.
“That would be the worst thing that could ever happen. He would be worse than J. Edgar Hoover,” Beavers said.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports
Defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. said the bank records prove he didn’t need to pay taxes on that money, since it was a loan.
“I’m telling you there’s not been one thing done by the IRS, and that’s because the commissioner paid his taxes, lawfully borrowed money, and paid that back to the tune of $68,000,” Adam said. “We’re showing you, not only did he borrow money, he paid it back three years before any indictment comes down; and every dime in taxes, he paid.”
There’s other money involved in the case against Beavers, but attorneys said they could account for that as well.
The indictment against Beavers alleges that, starting in January 2006, he began writing himself checks from his campaign fund to use for personal purposes, including gambling. In all, he allegedly wrote approximately 100 checks to himself — $96,000 worth in 2006; $69,300 worth in 2007; and $61,000 worth in 2008. He also allegedly used his campaign workers to prepare false campaign finance reports to falsify records about those checks and disguise them as legitimate campaign expenditures.
In all, the indictment alleges Beavers failed to report more than $225,000 he borrowed from his campaign funds for personal use.
Beavers said he’s tired of being accused of a crime, when he did nothing wrong.
“I’m not a criminal. I haven’t stole a dime. I have some thieves following me for the last three years, they couldn’t find nothing, alright? The thieves were the FBI,” he said. “It’s against the law to lie to the FBI, but it’s not against the law for them to lie on you, and that’s what they’ve been doing all the time: lying, lying, lying.”
He also repeated his claim that the charges against him were an act of retaliation by federal authorities for refusing to wear a wire in an investigation of fellow Cook County Commissioner John Daley.
Beavers said he told the feds to “kiss where the sun don’t shine” when they asked him to wear a wire on Daley.
“When they asked Fitzgerald about what I said, it shocked him. It was like a bomb hit him in the top of his head,” Beavers said.
Daley has denied he’s being investigated by the feds and has said he doesn’t know why Beavers would drag him into the case.
On Thursday, Daley said, “Bill Beavers tried to change the story. This is about Bill Beavers, and the indictment stands for itself, and he will have to answer in the court of law.”
Daley said he has no knowledge of any investigation targeting him.
“This indictment is about one person being indicted, Bill Beavers,” he added.
After Beavers was indicted in February, Fitzgerald also declined to discuss Beavers’ claims that federal prosecutors wanted him to wear a wire in an investigation of Daley.
“What I would simply say is this, it would be entirely fair to read into my non-comment. … If you ask me whether or not he was indicted because he failed to wear a wire on the Pope, I would say the same thing. … We indicted him because we allege he committed a tax crime,” Fitzgerald said at the time
Beavers is scheduled to go on trial in December, before U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel, who also oversaw the two trials of convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.