Cook County Commissioner William Beavers wants to testify at his federal tax evasion trial, and that could happen as soon as this tomorrow.
The prosecution wrapped its case today. Beavers’ defense team may have to decide soon whether to have him take the witness stand.
Today, for the second day in a row, chief Internal Revenue Service investigator Paul Ponzo has meticulously detailed Beavers’ alleged personal use of campaign funds to the tune of $250,000. Ponzo is testifying today about 100 checks that Beavers allegedly wrote to himself and cashed, and what appears to be habitual visits to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond.
In earlier testimony, former casino managers testified that Beavers lost nearly $500,000 over a three-year period from 2006 to 2008.
It is not illegal for politicians to spend campaign money for personal expenses, even on gambling expenses, but the government alleges that Beavers failed to report those expenses and income and pay taxes on the money.
Beavers’ defense team points to the Commissioner’s effort to repay the campaign funds and amend his tax returns.