William Beavers Chicago


William Beavers, eminiently quotable County Commissioner and longtime 7th ward alderman, was indicted by the feds (and the second most powerful Chicagoan) today. If you're going to go down, go down saying entertaining things:

Asked why FBI agents wanted him to wear a wire, he barked: “How do I know? I don’t know. I don’t even know John Daley that well. I told them I’m too old to be a stool pigeon. S–. And when I’m ready to confess, I’ll go to confession — that’s what I told them. I have an attorney.”

One of the allegations in the brief indictment (PDF) is that Beavers took his $1,200 monthly allowance as a Cook County Commissioner, used it for personal purposes, and didn't list it as income on his taxes from December 2006 through "at least" December 2008. Beavers denied that he ever took the allowance to the Sun-Times: “I have never taken my [commissioner’s expense account] from Day 1.”

Using the allowance for personal expenses was permitted at the time, as they were intended for "for miscellaneous expenses and purposes not otherwise provided for" (that gravy train ran out in 2009). But Beavers's statement today seems to contradict what he said in 2010, when news of the feds' interest in just this issue broke:

On Wednesday, Beavers acknowledged that for two years, he used a government allowance to supplement his salary.


Following an Internal Revenue Service investigation, grand jury subpoenas are asking for all of Beavers’ expense filings since he took office in 2006.

Beavers says he used the contingency allowance, but paid taxes on it.

So that's something he needs to sort out.

Update: Background on the Commissioner expense account imbroglio, by Angela Caputo at Progress Illinois (h/t @jkalven).


Photograph: Chicago Tribune