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The Mechanics
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Cook County Board Thu Jul 05 2012

William Beavers: "I am not a criminal!"

by Rachel Angres

Wearing one of his trademark lavish, tailor-made suits as sharp as his tongue, Cook County Commissioner William Beavers, 77, spoke with conviction early this morning at 330 S. Wells St. in Chicago's South Loop. Beavers, who recently pleaded not guilty to charges of indictment on federal tax-evasion charges, has been postponing the inevitable trial (which still has yet to be announced) that could seal his fate and lips- at least for the time being.

"I'm not a criminal! I haven't stolen a dime. I have had thieves following me for the last three years that couldn't find nothing," said the irreverent commissioner.

While speaking out against federal allegations that claim Beavers is a criminal and tax evader, he simply responded without a twinge of discretion, "I don't have no regrets; I was entitled to take that money since 2009."

Beavers and his lawyers often interrupted questions asked during the conference.

"You will find that out at the trial," said Beavers' attorney and representative, Victor Henderson, in response to questions regarding the evidence they plan to bring to court to relieve the allegations made against Beavers.

The central allegation is that the commissioner has been falsifying his tax returns. What was Beavers defense to these allegations?

"Nothing came up in my conversation. I ain't never seen the IRS. Where is he at? He must be invisible."

Beavers' statements were as heated as the small room in which he spoke to reporters, shielding his honor with statements like, "If I sin I go to church for confession." His uninhibited attitude may have speculators curious about his integrity. On one hand Beavers is outspoken and doesn't omit anything that may cross his mind, yet on the other hand his defense was simply a Xerox copy of a bank statement and a check from Park National Bank.

"Anytime the IRS does an audit there are penalties, paperwork, emails... nothing like that has ever been done in the last 3-1/2 years," Henderson said. "There is only one answer for that which is simply retribution for not doing what they were asked to do. I am a man of my word. And if you go over there and ask them to show the proof against my client, I will publicly go on television and admit I was wrong."

The conference was brief, with mentioning of roosters without nuts and stool pigeons. All in attendance had a few laughs as Beavers said his piece and stepped out of the room. A quick and slick talker can sing a tune, but when it comes to the courtroom, documentation takes precedence over any verbiage the commissioner can crow.

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