Reporting Chris Martinez
CHICAGO (CBS) – The objects former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. amassed through misused campaign funds will be converted into cash to pay the government back, a legal expert says.
Jackson’s spending spree included buying a rock-star guitar, mounted elk heads and Bruce Lee keepsakes.
CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller says federal officials are still collecting all the memorabilia, clothing and other goodies Jackson purchased via campaign dollars. Jackson earlier this week pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
Every last piece of it will likely be auctioned. The money it brings in is expected to be placed in a fund, as part of Jackson’s restitution.
“He is in debt to the U.S. government now for $750,000,” Miller says. “He has to pay that somehow.”
Contributors to Jackson’s campaigns could also get paid. The cash an auction brings in will be first up for grabs for donors who want their money back.
“It may not be 100 percent dollar for dollar,” Miller says. “But if somebody feels slighted, there is a provision in his plea agreement for restitution to victims, and the judge and the U.S. Department of Justice will enforce that.”
If there is an auction, as expected, it could be held online.