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County Commissioner Beavers vows to testify in tax-fraud trial

Cook County Commissioner Wiilliam Beavers leaves Dirsken Federal Building 219 S. Dearborn Street Monday December 3 2012 . |

Cook County Commissioner Wiilliam Beavers leaves Dirsken Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn Street, Monday, December 3, 2012 . | John H. White~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 5, 2013 6:16AM

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers vowed to testify Monday as his tax fraud trial was delayed for a day because one of his attorneys was sick.

Beavers said that there was “no question about it” and that he wants to tell jurors “My taxes are paid.”

A series of rulings made last week by federal Judge James Zagel put pressure on Beavers to take the stand.

Beavers argues that he has paid back what he owes and that he was charged with tax fraud only after he refused to cooperate with an FBI probe of Commissioner John Daley, but Zagel said Beavers could make those points at trial only if he testifies in his own defense.

Beavers is accused of spending cash from his campaign fund on personal items — including a series of losing gambling sprees and his county pension — without paying the appropriate taxes. A jury was due to be picked Monday but that process was delayed because one of Beavers’ attorneys, Vic Henderson, took ill Sunday night.

Speaking outside court Monday, Beavers said that he would testify but also hinted that he believes he has documents that prove he did not lose money at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, as the government alleges.

“Ask them to tell you how much I lost,” the former alderman told reporters.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment. Prosecutors have previously said Beavers amended his tax returns only after he knew authorities were onto him and that any discussions they had with him about cooperating are unrelated to whether he broke tax law.

The case is due to resume Tuesday.

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