Prosecutors: Gambling central to tax trial

CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors say they have evidence a Cook County commissioner heading to trial on tax-evasion charges was an avid gambler who sometimes drew on campaign funds repeatedly within a few hours at casinos.

The issue arose at a Friday hearing on the admissibility of evidence at William Beavers' trial. It starts Monday.

Prosecutor Matthew Getter told a federal judge Beavers' gambling would demonstrate his motive for allegedly diverting campaign money for personal use without reporting it.

He says records show Beavers was a frequent gambler who lost large amounts of money. He didn't specify how much.

Judge James Zagel told prosecutors they could talk about Beavers' gambling. But he cautioned them not to even hint his gambling was in any way illegal or immoral since that could unfairly influence jurors' verdict.