CHICAGO - After just two hours of deliberation a Chicago jury found Chicago alderman William Beavers guilty of tax evasion Thursday afternoon. The verdict could lead to 18 years in prison, but most agree Beavers, now 78, will face such a sentence. Even Beavers wasn't worried as he left the courthouse.
"You fight and if you win, you win. If you lose, you lose," Beavers said. "What do I have to lose? I'm 78 years old. ... What can the judge do to me?"
He plans on appealing the verdict and pushing for a way to blame federal authorities, saying they investigated his gambling habits because Beavers refused to wear a wire for them.
"I mean Ray Charles could see that," he said to reporters outside the courthouse.
Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro had a different take on the case.
"We approach hundreds of people, maybe thousands over the decades ... to cooperate with us, to help us ferret out public corruption, financial fraud, organized crime, terrorism. We don't just turn around and prosecute the ones who say, 'No, I don't want to have anything to do with you guys.'"
Question remains, however, what public corruption, financial fraud, organized crime or terrorism does Shapiro and his guys suspect Beavers would have helped them learn about from former Mayor Daley's brother John?