Jesse Jackson Jr. may soon be entering a plea deal that could include his resignation as a US Representative, as well as potential jail time, according to a new report.
Jackson Jr., son of Reverend Jesse Jackson, has entered into negotiations for the plea deal just days after winning reelection to his Chicago-area district, reports CBS News.
While the Illinois congressman has not yet pleaded guilty to alleged misuse of campaign funds, which went to decorate his house and buy a Rolex for $40,000 for a female friend, his lawyer, criminal defense attorney Dan Webb, is negotiating a deal, which will likely be reached by the end of the year.
The tentative deal between Jackson Jr. and the federal government would include the congressman’s resignation for health reasons, a “guilty” plea for the misuse of campaign funds, and repayment of any campaign contributions that were converted to personal use.
At least some jail time is also expected for the son of Reverend Jesse Jackson. His pension, which would give him between $65,000 and $80,000 per year once he turns 62, is also part of the plea bargain talks.
Jesse Jackson Jr. recently returned from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he was treated for bipolar disorder — a psychological condition marked by extreme mood swings.
He has been on medical leave from the House of Representatives for the problems since June and has not been seen in public since he was released, according to Reuters.
Along with the possible plea deal, Jackson Jr. has also been under investigation by a House ethics committee probe over a supposed bribe that was offered by a Jackson supporter in 2008 to then-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
The bribe was reportedly intended to entice Blagojevich to appoint Jackson to the Senate seat that was vacated by President Barack Obama. Jackson previously admitted to lobbying for the seat, but has denied knowledge of the bribe to the former Illinois governor, who has since been convicted and sent to jail on corruption charges.
Jesse Jackson Jr.’s attorney, Dan Webb, served as Chicago’s top prosecutor in the 1980s. He helped negotiate a plea deal for former Representative Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) who plead guilty to converting a congressional postage allowance into personal money. His plea deal included 17 months in jail, but he was allowed to keep his $126,000 per year pension for the remainder of his life.
Until Jesse Jackson Jr.’s plea deal is reached later this year, it is not clear if the US Representative will serve jail time.