Chicago, IL (CBS/WBBM) - Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. may be about to resign just days after being re-elected. Chicago station CBS-2 reports Jackson is negotiating a plea deal. He's accused of misusing campaign funds. CBS-2 reports Jackson would have to give up his seat and may have to go to prison.
Just days after being re-elected in the Chicago-area Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has entered negotiations for a plea deal that would include his resignation from Congress and possibly even jail time.
Jackson, the son of civil rights activist Jesse Jackson Sr. is charged with misusing campaign funds and has entered into virtual hiding.
Sightings of Jackson, once a rising star of the Democratic Party have been rare since he began treatment for bi-polar disorder back in June.
A photo with a visiting colleague at Mayo, another outside his home in Washington, and video of him closing the blinds after spotting a reporter.
While the congressman splits his time between his Washington DC home and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, high-powered defense attorney Dan Webb, a former top prosecutor himself, has been the point person for Jackson in talks with the Justice Department negotiating a deal that would end Jackson's 17 year career as a congressman.
The proposed deal includes Jackson resigning for health reasons, pleading guilty to charges involving misuse of campaign funds, paying back contributions that were converted to personal use, such as home furnishings, improper travel, or gifts, at least some jail time would appear to be inevitable.
Until now, constituents in his part-city, part suburban district have been understanding; he was overwhelmingly re-elected last week. Though some now appear less sympathetic.
Congressman Jackson's father, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, declined to comment on the reported plea bargaining. Others, who've seen him, including a pair of Chicago congressmen, say Jackson is still months away from a decision about returning to Congress. Chicago Congressmen Danny Davis, "To determine the extent to which he would be able to continue to serve, or do something else."
That decision may no longer be Jackson's to make. A source with direct knowledge of the plea bargaining expects it to be concluded by the end of the year. With a special election then scheduled to determine who serves the remainder of Jackson's tenth term in Congress.