William Beavers headed to prison as appeals court rejects plea
BY DAN MIHALOPOULOS Staff Reporter November 28, 2013 1:08PM
Updated: December 30, 2013 12:27PM
Federal appeals court judges have rejected former Cook County Commissioner William Beavers’ attempt to delay his six-month prison term while he appeals his corruption conviction.
The denial from the three judges on the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals means Beavers is still scheduled to turn himself in to prison authorities on Monday.
On Thursday, Beavers told the Chicago Sun-Times he had not been aware of the appellate court ruling, which was issued Wednesday, according to court records.
“I haven’t heard nothing,” said Beavers, a 78-year-old Democrat from the South Side who’s well known for his blunt views on local politics and life in general. “I have to check with my attorneys to see what’s happening.”
U.S. District Judge James Zagel earlier rejected an almost identical request from Beavers. Zagel sentenced Beavers in September after a jury convicted him of failing to pay taxes on thousands of dollars he took from his political campaign fund and spent on gambling sprees.
Beavers’s attorneys argued that with no prior history, Beavers should be allowed to postpone his date to appear at prison because otherwise, his appeal would likely be decided well after he was released.
The appellate judges, though, did agree to an accelerated schedule for hearing Beavers’ appeal of the fraud conviction. Even with the expedited timetable, the justices said they would not hear oral arguments in the case until the second half of February — almost at the midpoint of Beavers’ stint behind bars.