William Beavers believes he will be found not guilty: EXCLUSIVE - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Beavers believes he will be found not guilty of tax evasion: EXCLUSIVE

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

He's been a police officer, an influential alderman and on Monday, Cook County Commissioner William Beavers will play a different role. He will be a defendant, as his federal trial begins.

In an exclusive Saturday night interview with FOX 32 News, the commissioner sounded off about why he believes he was unfairly charged.

EXCLUSIVE: William Beavers is ready for the witness stand

Beavers and his attorneys explained Sunday night why they believe he will be found not guilty.

"Right now I'm ready to go to trial," Beavers said. "I've been ready. I was angry when they first brought all these charges - I'm still angry. But I'm not as bitter as I was."

Beavers said now that he's had a year to look at the evidence against him, he's more convinced than ever that he'll be vindicated. Prosecutors said Beavers failed to pay income taxes on the nearly one quarter of $1 million he took from his campaign funds for personal purposes, including gambling.

Beavers stated the money was paid back before he was caught – and even insists that he didn't get caught.

"Every dime that I owed to my campaign fund was paid in full," Beavers stated. "They just came with an indictment. I didn't get caught doing anything. They have not proved one thing."

Beavers defense team attorney Sam Adam Jr. declined to discuss specifics. But he suggested the evidence will include some surprises.

Adams hinted that Beavers may have actually overpaid his taxes during his years as alderman.

"We'll get to that at trial," Adams said. "But look for it. I'll put it to you that way. I'm not telling you we're going to show it, I'm telling you look for it."

Adam clearly plans to stress to the jury that the $226,000 that Beavers took from his campaign funds is not the issue.

"It will all come down to intent and interpretation," Adams said. "That's what the government is trying to hide. He's not charged with gambling, he's simply charged with not paying taxes."

Beavers remains convinced he was charged because he refused to secretly tape record conversations with other potential federal targets. He said asking him to do so was an insult, and the feds underestimated his backbone.

"They thought I was a punk, okay?" Beavers said. "I'm not a punk, alright? I'm a man. M-A-N."

TheU.S. Attorney's Office declined comment on the Beavers case, due to justice department rules regarding pre-trial remark. But they will be heard from later this week.

Jury selection begins Monday. Opening statements could possibly follow on Wednesday.

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