Opening statements in Beavers tax trial

CHICAGO — Opening statements are scheduled in federal court in Chicago for the tax-evasion trial of a powerful Cook County Commissioner.

Each side will have about 30 minutes to address jurors Thursday about the allegations against William Beavers.

The 78-year-old Chicago Democrat has pleaded not guilty to diverting around $225,000 from his campaign coffers for personal use and not reporting it.

A jury was selected late Wednesday after a judge questioned would-be panelists for two days. The 12-person jury is comprised of 10 whites, a Hispanic and one African-American. There are seven women on the jury and five men.

The former police officer and onetime alderman is charged with four federal tax counts. Each count carries a maximum three-year prison sentence.