Ex-Cook County Commissioner William Beavers was sentenced Wednesday morning to serve six months in prison and pay tens of thousands of dollars in fees and restitution for campaign funds he was convicted of not reporting on his taxes.
The often-colorful Beavers -- who previously proclaimed himself as a "hog with the big nuts" -- could have been sentenced to as much as 12 years in prison for siphoning off thousands of unreported dollars -- $226,000 worth -- in campaign money to pay for gambling debts racked up at the Horseshoe Casino and other personal expenses and did not report the spending.
In addition to about $30,000 in restitution, Beavers, 78, will be forced to pay a $10,000 fine, ABC Chicago reports. Prosecutors had pushed for a 21-month prison sentence while Beavers had hoped to avoid jail time and receive only probation.
After his sentencing, Beavers indicated he won't be backing down and said, according to NBC Chicago, "I will win this. I ain't begging for nothing. I don't beg my woman, I am not begging for this."
Beavers was convicted in March for tax evasion but had repeatedly insisted the case against him was retribution for his refusal to cooperate in alleged investigations of his County Board colleagues, particularly John Daley, NBC notes.
“Even Ray Charles could see that,” Beavers said after his conviction in March, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “They thought I was a punk.”
His attorneys also argued any dollars Beavers took from the campaign money was a loan that he paid back and that his taxes were amended to correct "any errors," the Chicago Tribune reports.
The influential Chicago-area Democrat was a police officer for over two decades before he was elected as 7th Ward alderman in 1983 and a Cook County Board commissioner in 2006.