Sources: Jackson Pleads Guilty, Signs Plea Deal
By Jeff Bossert
Former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. has pleaded guilty to misusing campaign money, according to several Chicago news reports.
The reports, citing anonymous sources, say the Chicago-area Democrat has signed a deal pleading guilty to federal charges that he illegally used campaign funds for personal expenses.
Multiple news outlets, including the Chicago Sun-Times, say a federal judge would ultimately decide whether Jackson faces time in prison. But he reportedly would have to repay the government “hundreds of thousands of dollars” for using campaign cash on personal travel, clothes and meals.
Jackson also used the money to buy a $40,000 Rolex watch, according to reports. Federal law prohibits candidates from using campaign donations to pay for personal expenses.
Jackson resigned from Congress in November after a six-month absence.
And his wife, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, resigned her City Council seat last month. Neither have been officially charged with any crime.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C. declined to comment on the reports of the plea deal.