Jesse Jackson Jr. signs plea deal; wife also faces investigation
February 8th, 2013
03:23 PM ET
10 years ago

Jesse Jackson Jr. signs plea deal; wife also faces investigation

(CNN) – Former U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has signed a plea deal with prosecutors who were investigating potential financial improprieties, according to a source close to Jackson's family.

Lawyers representing Jackson did not return CNN phone calls Friday, and the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington had no comment when asked about the Jackson case.

Last year, a law enforcement official told CNN that the FBI and federal prosecutors in Washington were investigating Jackson for possible financial improprieties. On Friday, the source told CNN that investigators are also looking at the possible involvement of Jackson's wife, Sandi Jackson, in those alleged improprieties. This official did not know if she might be charged in the investigation.

Sandi Jackson stepped down from the Chicago City Council on January 15, saying in a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel that she could not "deny my commitment to those most important personal responsibilities" of being a wife and mother.

She added her decision came "after much consideration and while dealing with very painful family health matters." She had held the seat since 2007.

Jesse Jackson Jr., a Democrat who represented Illinois' 2nd Congressional District beginning in 1995, resigned in late November after winning election to a tenth term in the House. He was all but absent from the campaign trail last year, recording only an October robo-call message to constituents which said "a series of events came together in my life at the same time and they've been difficult to sort through."

He had not been seen in Washington or his district since last spring, and his office slowly revealed that he was receiving treatment for a mood disorder, depression and gastrointestinal issues at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

The House Ethics Committee is separately looking into allegations that in 2008 Jackson, 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.

"During my journey I have made my share of mistakes," former Rep. Jackson said in his November resignation letter to House Speaker John Boehner. "I am aware of the ongoing federal investigation into my activities and I am doing my best to address the situation responsibly, cooperate with my investigators, and accept responsibility for my mistakes, for they are my mistakes and mine alone."

Jackson is the son of the well-known civil rights leader. Reached Friday, the elder Jesse Jackson said "I have no comment regarding my son. I cannot confirm anything and if you are looking for that kind of information or confirmation it's not going to come from me."

Asked how his son was doing, Jackson said he was "taking his medication and handling his challenges."

A special election to fill Jesse Jackson Jr.'s House seat has been set for this spring.

CNN's Carol Cratty, Katherine Wojtecki and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: Jesse Jackson Jr.
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Dave / New Mexico

    Racism plain & simple. Poor guy has been singled out because he's black.

    February 8, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. They Never Learn

    We need term limits. Greed and power for so many that have fallen, republicans and democrats.

    February 8, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Robin Jones

    Apparently, his defense of "I was just trying to build up my corruption experience so I could run for Governor of Illinois" didn't work too well for him. Ain't Chicago politics wonderful?

    February 8, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Bill, NY

    Action Jackson?

    February 8, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. socalpimp

    He gets his hefty pension? What a damn disgrace!!! Corruption knows no bounds!!!

    February 8, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. fsjunkie

    Thanks a lot Jesse Jr., but the next time that you want to embarrass your people, just walk down the street and work the corner.

    February 8, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. john

    When a non-politician does these things, they are called CRIMES. When politicians do them, they are called "improprieties". Is it any wonder most Americans hate politicians?

    February 8, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. john

    I took one look at that picture and said to myself, "Heah, that could be Obama's son."

    February 8, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. Yakobi

    Pelosi's comrades at work again. How'd that whole "drain the swamp" promise work out for ya, Nance?

    February 8, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. I like pie

    So he gets to keep his pension while my father (vietnam vet) is having trouble paying for his meds each month. This is ridiculous, no wonder this nation is in the toilet. It's ran by a bunch of criminals

    February 8, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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