Opening statements and the first day of testimony are done at the tax-evasion trial of a powerful Chicago politician.

Thursday’s proceedings in Democrat William Beavers’ case began with opening statements.

Prosecutor Sam Cole told jurors the Cook County Commissioner spent thousands from his campaign coffers at a lake-side casino. In one case, Cole said Beavers falsely declared he’d spent it on campaign signs.

Defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. told jurors they’d see that his client hadn’t committed any crimes.

Government witnesses included a bank worker who described scores of checks Beavers wrote paying himself in campaign-fund cash.

The 78-year-old denied charges he failed to report much of that money spent on gambling as income in his tax returns.

Prosecutors continue their case Friday.

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