EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

August 14, 2013

Prison for ex-congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to two and a half years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to scheming to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.

Jackson, the 48-year-old son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, had been a Democratic congressman from Illinois from 1995 until he resigned last November. In an emotional speech to the judge during which he got choked up and used tissues to blow his nose, he apologized and said he wanted to "take responsibility for my actions."

"I misled the American people," he said.

According to court papers in the case, Jackson used campaign money to buy items including a $43,350 gold-plated men's Rolex watch.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that as a public official Jackson was expected to "live up to a higher standard of ethics and integrity."

Jackson's wife, Sandra Jackson, also was to be sentenced Wednesday for filing joint federal income tax returns that understated the couple's income. She spent $5,150 in campaign funds on fur capes and parkas, court documents show.

Jesse Jackson Jr. had pleaded guilty to the criminal charges back in February. He admitted that he and his wife used campaign credit cards to buy 3,100 personal items worth $582,772 from 2005 through April of last year — including $60,857 for personal expenditures at restaurants, nightclubs and lounges; $16,058 for personal expenditures at sports clubs and lounges; $5,814 for alcohol and $14,513 for dry cleaning.

Individual campaign credit card purchases included a $466 dinner for two of "a personal nature" at a restaurant; a washer, dryer, range and refrigerator for the Jacksons' Chicago home; multiple flat-screen televisions, Blu-Ray DVD players and DVDs for their Washington, D.C., home; and a five-day health retreat for one of Mrs. Jackson's relatives.

Jackson told another judge when he entered his plea that "for years I lived in my campaign."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
World/National News

Latest U.S. News
3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout Suing Obama: GOP-led House Gives the Go-ahead Obama: 'Blood of Africa Runs Through My Veins' Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Air Force: Stowaway Triggers Security Review Minnesota Fire Engulfs Home, Two Garages Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Officials Unsure of UCLA Flood Repair Date At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train
Latest World News
Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Raw: Guinea Rap Concert Stampede Kills 33+ Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Graphic Video: 15 Killed at Gaza UN School Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Floodwaters Ravage Villages in Romania Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Today in History for July 30th Raw: Aftermath, Artillery Shells Hit Donetsk Muslims Celebrate Eid El-Fitr Around the World Gaza Official: at Least 100 Killed Tuesday Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast
Photos of the Week