- (Photo: Reuters/Mitch Dumke)
Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is likely to serve jail time after resigning from his position as part of a plea deal being negotiated with the United States government. He has spent 17 years as a representative of Chicago but has been charged with misappropriating campaign funds.
Under the deal being negotiated by Dan Webb and the U.S. Justice Department, Jackson will "resign for health reasons; plead guilty to charges including misuse of campaign funds; repay any contributions converted to personal use" and possibly serve jail time, CBS Chicago reported.
Jackson has been on medical leave since June, though it was not initially known what he was being treated for. In August, his office released a statement saying that the Representative was being treated for bipolar II depression.
"Congressman Jackson is responding well to the treatment and regaining his strength," the office added.
"I don't think people understand the depth of his depression," Rep. Patrick Kennedy told the Associated Press after visiting his friend and colleague in the hospital. "It's deep. He has a lot of work to continue to do to be able to learn how to treat this illness in the most effective way possible. Depression is a serious thing, and I'm glad that he's taking it seriously."
Sources have said that given Jackson's health problems, it is unlikely that he will return to Congress. Citizens of Illinois have both spoken out in defense of Jackson, whose bad decisions they say could have been influenced by his medical condition.
Others, however, have come down hard on Jackson and see him as another corrupt Illinois politician.
Authorities have not finalized any of the details of the Representative's exit strategy, but have promised to do so by the end of the year. He won re-election to his seat without even campaigning, and if he does vacate his seat, it will be cause for a special election.