Chicago Sun-Times
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Did federal judge dis' the 'hog'?

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He's best known for his unforgettable claim that he is "the hog with the big nuts."

But quotable Cook County Commissioner William Beavers isn't all that, according to the federal judge due to oversee Beavers' trial on tax evasion charges next week.

Most potential jurors likely haven't heard of the sharp-suited former alderman, Judge James Zagel said Tuesday.

"It's quite possible that the vast majority of jurors will not have heard of the defendant," Zagel told attorneys in the case.

That's significant because the judge has to decide whether to question potential jurors one at a time or in a group.

In cases involving public figures, potential jurors are typically questioned alone, so that they do not share any prejudices for or against the famous person in front of each other. But Zagel said it was a "borderline" case whether that was necessary with Beavers.

-- Federal Courts Reporter Kim Janssen

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