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Beavers’ Defense Rests Case At Tax Trial

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers speaks to reporters at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on March 11, 2013, as proceedings got underway in his trial on tax evasion charges. (Credit: CBS)

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers speaks to reporters at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on March 11, 2013, as proceedings got underway in his trial on tax evasion charges. (Credit: CBS)

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Updated 03/20/13 – 2:45 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Defense attorneys for Cook County Commissioner William Beavers rested their case at his tax trial on Wednesday, and the commissioner himself did not follow through on his promise to take the stand.

WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Beavers is accused of using more than $225,000 in campaign money for personal expenses – including to support his gambling habit – without reporting it on income on his federal tax returns.

The defense was brief, just a few hours, after a the prosecution presented their case for about a week. Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday.

Beavers has said the money was a loan that was paid back, and was exempt from income taxes. He has claimed he was prosecuted only after refusing to wear a wire against fellow Cook County Commissioner John Daley as part of a federal investigation.

A witness for the defense on Wednesday was an accountant who analyzed Beavers’ spending patterns, but the judge would not allow the accountant to testify about Beavers’ state of mind as far as repaying the money he borrowed from his campaign fund.

Beavers had repeatedly said he planned to testify in his own defense.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel has said the only way the defense can tell jurors Beavers repaid the money he took out of his campaign fund and that federal prosecutors asked him to wear a wire is if he takes the stand.