Former Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi, former Chicago alderman, both received prison sentences today for separate felonies involving the misuse of $750,000 in campaign funds.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Jackson Jr. was sentenced to two and a half years behind bars, and an additional three years of supervised release. The judge ordered for the 48-year-old son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson to report to prison on November 1st.
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“Your honor, throughout this process I’ve asked the government and the court to hold me and only me accountable for my actions,” Jackson said to the judge before sentencing.
“I am the example for the whole Congress,” he said, weeping. “I understand that. I didn’t separate my personal life from my political activities, and I couldn’t have been more wrong.”
As for Mrs. Jackson, she was ordered to serve one year for filing false joint federal income tax returns. She will being her sentence after her husband’s release.
As we reported earlier:
On February 20, Jackson confessed to misusing his campaign funds on personal expenses including Michael Jackson memorabilia, a Rolex watch, a cruise and home furniture. “For years I lived off my campaign,” the former rep. said during his court hearing. “I used money I shouldn’t have used for personal purposes.”
Jackson’s wife Sandi, who served as her husband’s campaign manager, is also hot water. Around the same time as Jackson’s confession, she entered into a plea deal of her own, confessing to filing false income tax statements during the time of her husbands’s campaign.
Jackson Jr. said he hopes his wife will be able to take care of the household during his absence. “When I get back, I’ll take on that burden,” he said. “By then I hope my children will be old enough that the pain I caused will be easier to bear.”
Jesse and Sandi, who married in 1991, have two children together.
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