Cook County Commissioner William Beavers attended his first public meeting Wednesday since his indictment on federal tax-evasion charges last week – and made sure reporters saw him shake hands with fellow commissioner John Daley.
Beavers told the Sun-Times last week that he was indicted because he refused a request by FBI agents in 2009 to wear a wire and record conversations with Daley, the brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and Bill Daley, the one-time White House chief of staff. A clearly miffed John Daley responded that he doesn’t believe he’s under investigation and that Beavers threw his name out there to divert attention from his own legal woes.
While Wednesday’s county finance committee meeting – called to approve a change to the new tobacco taxes that kick in Thursday – was relatively uneventful, Beavers made a point of approaching Daley, his fellow Democrat, afterward.
“Hey, John – John,” Beavers said as Daley was leaving the County Board room in downtown Chicago. As they shook hands, Beavers called out to reporters: “I want everybody to see this. OK? All right?”
Both smiled as they shook hands briefly, and Daley left as Beavers remained, chatting with other commissioners. Beavers attended the entire 90-minute meeting but said little publicly – other than to cast a “no” vote on a proposal to eliminate a one-time floor tax on businesses that sell loose tobacco, chew and cigars. The measure to eliminate the tax succeeded 9-7 despite his vote.
Asked by a reporter how he was doing, the always nattily dressed Beavers grinned and said: “Doin’ good. How do I look? That’s how I’m doing.”
Asked how he’ll plead during his arraignment Friday in federal court, Beavers, 77, said, “I’ll give everybody a story on Friday, OK? I tell you everything you want to know Friday.”