Judge Denies Jackson Request To Keep Part Of Sentencing Memo Secret
Updated 06/04/13 – 2:47 p.m.
WASHINGTON (CBS) — A federal judge has denied former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.’s request to keep part of his defense team’s sentencing memorandum sealed from the public, so he can keep details of his medical condition private.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she could not grant Jackson’s request without first seeing the defense’s sentencing memo. However, she said when it is filed, the defense could again ask to have it sealed, and it would be treated as such until she can review it and rule on the new request.
Jackson, who has pleaded guilty to misusing more than $750,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses, must file a sentencing memorandum by Friday. His lawyers had the judge to seal parts of that document on Monday, but have yet to file the memo itself.
“Mr. Jackson’s Sentencing Memorandum will contain personal, sensitive details about his medical condition, as well as the medical condition of one of his family members,” his attorneys wrote in a court filing on Monday.
The relative was not identified in the filing.
Jackson, 48, resigned from Congress last November, after taking an extended leave of absence starting in the summer.
He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and has been undergoing extensive treatment since last summer, but details of his symptoms, treatment and recovery have been kept private, other than vague statements that his condition has been improving.
Jackson is scheduled to be sentenced on July 1, along with his wife, former Ald. Sandi Jackson, who has pleaded guilty to a related case of failing to report about $600,000 in taxable income from the campaign cash used on personal expenses.
The former congressman has admitted using campaign funds to buy furs, vacations, celebrity memorabilia, electronics, stuffed animal heads, a Rolex watch, and more. He also used campaign funds to pay off personal credit cards.
As part of his sentencing memorandum, Jackson plans to submit letters from two medical professionals regarding his medical condition, and he’s asked a judge to allow him to keep those details secret.
“Disclosure of these materials would unnecessarily expose to the public intimate details of Mr. Jackson’s and his family member’s medical diagnoses and treatment,” his lawyers wrote.
Federal prosecutors have yet to file their sentencing memo, which also is due Friday.