October 20th, 2012
07:11 PM ET
2 years ago

Rep. Jackson addresses constituents, describes long 'road to recovery'

(CNN) - Rep. Jesse Jackson spoke out Saturday on the circumstances surrounding his months-long absence from the public eye, saying in a recorded phone call to his Illinois constituents that he has "undergone medical treatment to address several serious health issues."

"Like many human beings, a series of events came together in my life at the same time and they've been difficult to sort through," he said in the call, which was obtained by CNN affiliate WBBM. "I am human, I am doing my best, and I am trying to sort through them all."

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The nine-term Democrat who represents the south side of Chicago has been away from Congress since May. His office announced in June that he was taking a medical-related leave of absence. In August it emerged that he was suffering from depression and was in treatment at the Mayo Clinic.

Though he checked out of the Rochester, Minnesota-based facility in September, the Chicago Sun Times reported Friday that Jackson would be returning to the clinic, as soon as that same evening.

"I am anxious to return to work on your behalf but at this time, it's against medical advice," he said in the call. "And while I will always give my all to my constituents, I ask you to continue with your patience as I work to get my health back."

He added, "The good news is my health is improving, but my doctors tell me the road to recovery is a long one."

The congressman is the subject of an investigation involving possible financial improprieties conducted in Washington by the FBI and federal prosecutors, a federal law enforcement official told CNN this week. The Wall Street Journal reported the investigation involved home improvements which may have been improperly funded by campaign donations.

Jackson, 47, is also under investigation by the House Ethics Committee, which is examining allegations that, in 2008, he or one of his associates offered to raise money for then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for Jackson being appointed to the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.

Jackson is the son of the famed civil rights leader and represents Illinois' 2nd Congressional District.

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Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Illinois • Jesse Jackson Jr.
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. DocReality

    Wouldn't it be nice if ALL politicians and representatives had some type of psychological profile/anaylsis completed available to voters prior to elections?

    If we're voting in these folks to represent us, it makes sense to me that the voters would want to know about any type of issue which could impact their efficacy as public servants.

    In terms of mental health, I would be curious to know about a candidate's:
    a) mental/cognitive functioning
    b) emotional stability
    c) history of mood disorders and psychotic disrders
    d) history of personality disorder
    e) history of substance abuse / chemical dependency

    I wonder how many incumbents would be thrown out if we imlemented this today?

    October 21, 2012 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  2. BD70

    How long is long? If he cannot do his job as their representative for a great length of time, then maybe he should resign and let someone else have his seat.

    October 21, 2012 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  3. pray

    and they will elect him again? Sad people, very sad

    October 21, 2012 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  4. Redspotz

    Jackson should step down; his constituents deserve current and effective representation.

    October 21, 2012 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  5. josetoyou

    The "recovery" should be after he is removed from office...

    October 21, 2012 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  6. Robert

    So step aside.

    October 21, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  7. John Deatherage

    I'd be depressed too if the FBI was closing in on me for my misdeeds while in Congress. This is just a creative way to delay the inevitable.

    October 21, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  8. timz

    Under the circumstances any honest and ethical person would resign.

    October 21, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  9. dalewalk

    Like father, like son. A duplicitous scoundrel to the end.

    October 21, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  10. riabm60

    The worst thing about depression is to find out which medication works out the best.
    It can take month's before one is cured.

    October 21, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  11. woodin

    He should not do his convalescence while in office or the taxpayers dime.

    October 21, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
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