Sentencing day for Chicago Democrat

CHICAGO — Another Chicago Democrat goes before a federal judge to learn whether he'll have to serve time behind bars.

Prosecutors want a nearly two-year prison term for William Beavers when the former Cook County commissioner is sentenced Wednesday.

Jurors convicted the 78-year-old of spending campaign cash on gambling without declaring it as income on his tax returns.

Beavers gained a reputation for bravado during his more than quarter-century in politics. Bragging about his influence, he once described himself as a "hog with big nuts."

In presentencing filings, prosecutors say Beavers brazenly committed crimes despite having had "a front row seat" to "the long and sordid history" of Illinois corruption.

But the defense says he deserves leniency for his years of public service. They're asking for probation rather than a prison term.

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