Thursday, March 1, 2012

EXTRA: The “hog” neutered?

It was odd to see William Beavers, the Cook County Board member who takes a certain pride in being outspoken and critical, sit so silently during the county board session held Thursday.
BEAVERS: Silenced?

Then again, he probably doesn’t want to say anything that the U.S. attorney’s office for Northern Illinois could use in a context that would be incriminating.

FOR THURSDAY WAS the first county board session held since the indictment announced last week against Beavers – who supposedly violated federal tax law in his personal use of campaign cash and expense account monies.

The Internal Revenue Service thinks he is worthy of criminal prosecution, and he could get up to a three-year prison term if he ultimately is found guilty of the charges he currently faces.

So Beavers, who actually showed up about a half-hour late for Thursday’s board meeting, pretty much sat silently during the session – although his attire (a dark grey suit with blue tie and light-blue silk handkerchief in his breast pocked) was as natty as ever.

In fact, his most outspoken moment of the day may very well have been when the county board voted to place specific term limits on the position of medical examiner (which previously served at the pleasure of the county board president).

IT PASSED WITH an “aye” vote and no opposition, but Beavers insisted that he be recorded as having voted “present.” Although Beavers went along with the other medical examiner-related ordinance change without much comment.

Although he got into a bit of a verbal scuffle with county board member John Daley (with whom he usually doesn’t get along, but whom he claims federal prosecutors wanted him to wear a wire during their private conversations).

At one point, Beavers tried asking a question of county Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly, only to have Daley cut her off and explain why he thought Beavers’ questions were misguided.

That resulted in Beavers snapping at Daley (although the two supposedly smiled and shook hands when they were at a gathering together earlier in the week).
DALEY: The opposition?

“YOU’RE DOING WHAT she’s trying to do,” Beavers said. “You’re answering her questions, just like she’s trying to answer questions for (Medical Examiner Nancy) Jones.”

All in all, it wasn’t exactly scintillating political rhetoric befitting the man who thinks of himself as the, “hog with the big nuts.” Even if you were there to hear it yourself, it wasn't feisty rhetoric.

If this trend keeps up, it is going to ratchet down by several notches the potential for political excitement coming from the county board. Although maybe Beavers is "saving himself" for his initial court appearance, scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Dirksen Building.


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