Jackson Jr. Checks Out Of Mayo Clinic; Feds Reportedly Investigating Wife
Updated 11/13/12 – 5:47 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was released from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota on Tuesday, after a second stint there to be treated for bipolar disorder.
A clinic spokesperson said Jackson was released Tuesday morning, but did not know where he was going after leaving the clinic.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports
The congressman had checked into the Mayo Clinic for a second time this year last month. He was there for several weeks in August and September, before returning to his home in Washington, D.C., for a few weeks, then returning in late October.
Jackson, who reportedly has been under investigation by federal prosecutors for possible misuse of campaign funds, has been on a leave of absence from Congress since June, but was re-elected last week despite his legal and medical troubles.
Meantime, according to the Wall Street Journal, federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., have expanded their investigation of the congressman, and are now also looking at his wife’s conduct.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger Reports
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, according to the Wall Street Journal, sources familiar with the investigation said prosecutors are reviewing evidence Jackson’s wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th), might have been complicit in the misuse of campaign money to decorate their home.
The Journal reports prosecutors have made no decisions about pursuing charges against Ald. Jackson.
A spokesman for the alderman would say only that “there is no comment from this office, or from her pertaining to that.”
Congressman Jackson has not been charged with a crime, but as CBS 2 first reported, the congressman’s high-powered defense attorney Dan Webb has been negotiating a plea deal that would call for Jackson to resign for health reasons, serve at least some jail time for misusing campaign funds, and repay any funds used for personal reasons. He would be able to keep his pension.
One by one, Jackson’s Democratic colleagues seem to be distancing themselves from the Congressman and his problems.
“Given the election’s over, I think it’s important for him to tell his constituents, and tell the public where he stands,” Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday.
Even those who’ve marched with Jackson for a new south suburban airport in Peotone called a news conference to discuss the future of the airport, and seemed resigned to going it alone.
Rev. Dr. James Hunt said, “Congressman Jackson has done a wonderful job in bringing us this far, but now it’s up to us to bring it home.”
The Congressman hasn’t been seen at either his home in Chicago or D.C. since he left the Mayo Clinic, and wasn’t on Capitol Hill for a House vote on Tuesday, but wasn’t expected there anyway.
A woman who resembles Jackson’s sister Jacqui, left his South Shore home Tuesday afternoon, and wasn’t exactly thrilled to see reporters.
She declined to comment on her brother.
One of Congressman Jackson’s neighbors was a little bit friendlier and a lot more critical.
“He should own up to what he has done, and stop hiding behind his illnesses. I think that him being released from the Mayo Clinic is a good thing,” Zavetta Reeves said. “Now he should now face the people that live in his district, and that he needs to deal with the situation, and either step down or rectify it and move on and serve those people open and honestly.”
Campaign finance records obtained by CBS 2 indicate $50,000 in payments to Sandi Jackson through her consulting company so far this year. Other unexplained and un-itemized expenses for this year are included in payments of $189,000 to American Express.
In March alone, when we last saw Jackson as he celebrated his primary win, his campaign paid American Express $30,000 on March 2, $26,0000 on March 5, and $20,000 on March 18.